J.J. Abrams and Lawrence Kasdan are now spearheading the script for the upcoming Star Wars reboot, according to a post on the franchise’s website. Episode VII was initially being penned by Oscar-winning Toy Story 3 scribe Michael Arndt, and while the post acknowledges his work up to this point, it makes no mention of why he’s no longer working on the project.
Abrams’ assumption of the co-writing duties is no surprise, however, considering he’s directing the film. Kasdan has been serving as a consultant for the movie, and has long been a part of the Lucasfilm family, writing the screenplay for Raiders of the Lost Ark and contributing to both The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi.
“I am very excited about the story we have in place and thrilled to have Larry and J.J. working on the script,” Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy said in the post. “There are very few people who fundamentally understand the way a Star Wars story works like Larry, and it is nothing short of incredible to have him even more deeply involved in its return to the big screen. J.J. of course is an incredible storyteller in his own right.”
Shooting for Episode VII is still slated to begin next spring at Pinewood Studios in London, with the film scheduled for a 2015 release. No word yet on who will be cast in the highly anticipated franchise reboot – though we’ve decoded the ever-churning rumor mill – while last night on The Tonight Show Harrison Ford remained tight-lipped about whether he would return as Han Solo, as previously speculated.