BREAKING…The new Star Wars movie has a new screenwriting team. It was announced online today that Episode VII director J.J. Abrams and Empire Strikes Back co-writer Lawrence Kasdan will take over as scribes for the upcoming Disney project which is set to be released in 2015. The duo are taking over from Michael Arndt. The writer, who penned the screenplay for Hunger Games: Catching Fire and won an Oscar for writing Little Miss Sunshine, was named as the sole screenwriter on the pic early last November. Arndt was also said to be working on treatments for the other two planned new Star Wars films. “I am very excited about the story we have in place and thrilled to have Larry and J.J. working on the script,” states LucasFilm boss Kathleen Kennedy in a statement posted on Starwars.com Thursday. “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. Michael Arndt has done a terrific job bringing us to this point and we have an amazing filmmaking and design team in place already prepping for production.”
EXCLUSIVE: Here’s some tantalizing dish to chew on before the Thanksgiving turkey and trimmings. After hiring Michael Arndt to script the first installment of the relaunch of George Lucas’ Star Wars franchise, I’ve heard Disney has approached Lawrence Kasdan and Simon Kinberg and I believe it is to get the ball rolling on the subsequent installments mapped out by Lucas. Both of the scribes in question have franchise experience.
Kasdan scripted two of the original Star Wars films in the 1980 The Empire Strikes Back and the 1983 follow-up Return of the Jedi. He also scripted Raiders Of The Lost Ark for Lucas and Steven Spielberg. Kinberg’s franchise work: X-Men: The Last Stand, Sherlock Holmes and the upcoming X-Men: Days Of Future Past which Bryan Singer will direct.
Lawrence Kasdan has done something he never dreamed of: He’s gone indie and he doesn’t think he’s going back. The four-time Oscar-nominated screenwriter of such blockbusters as The Empire Strikes Back, Return Of The Jedi, The Bodyguard and Raiders Of The Lost Ark and writer-director of such acclaimed films as Body Heat, The Big Chill, The Accidental Tourist, Silverado and Grand Canyon among others is back with Darling Companion. It’s his first new film in nine years (since 2003′s ill-fated Dreamcatcher) and the first time in a 30-plus-year career that he has worked without a net. A studio-bred filmmaker from the beginning, Kasdan says no studio would go near his latest project, co-written with wife of 40 years Meg Kasdan, and he totally gets it. That’s why at age 62 he decided he had to go it alone because Companion, aimed at older audiences the same age as its director, has got to be a true gem (considering the multi-Oscared cast) and rich, if rare, entertainment for that largely forgotten sector of the audience the industry routinely dismisses — and who can’t find anything to see starring people their own age. This kind of smart (by design), sophisticated adult comedy rarely comes along these days unless it’s got Woody Allen’s name on it, and even those are mostly populated with younger actors.
Santa Barbara, CA – The 27th Santa Barbara International Film Festival (January 26-February 5), presented by lynda.com, will open the 2012 Festival with the World Premiere of the Sony Classic Pictures film Darling Companion, directed by Lawrence Kasdan and starring Diane Keaton, Kevin Kline, Dianne Wiest, Richard Jenkins, Sam Shepard, Mark Duplass, Elisabeth Moss, and Ayelet Zurer. Opening night will take place at the Arlington Theatre on Thursday, January 26, 2012 and is sponsored by Studio 7.
“We are incredibly privileged to have the world premiere of a Lawrence Kasdan film. The highly anticipated Darling Companion is a fantastic film to kick off the festival,” remarked SBIFF Executive Director Roger Durling.
New York, NY (July 27, 2011) – Sony Pictures Classics has preemptively acquired all domestic rights to Lawrence Kasdan’s DARLING COMPANION from production company Werc Werk Works, it was announced today by Sony Pictures Classics and Werc Werk Works CEO Elizabeth Redleaf.
DARLING COMPANION is written by Meg Kasdan and Lawrence Kasdan and directed by Lawrence Kasdan. It stars Kevin Kline, Diane Keaton, Dianne Wiest, Richard Jenkins, Elisabeth Moss, Mark Duplass, Ayelet Zurer and Sam Shepherd. The film is produced by Anthony Bregman for Likely Story, Lawrence Kasdan for Kasdan Pictures and Elizabeth Redleaf for Werc Werk Works. Christine Walker, Meg Kasdan and John Kelly served as executive producers.
In DARLING COMPANION, Beth (Keaton) saves a bedraggled lost dog from the side of the freeway on a wintry day in Denver. Struggling with her distracted, self-involved husband Joseph (Kline) and an empty nest at home, Beth forms a special bond with the rescued animal. When Joseph loses the dog after a wedding at their vacation home in the Rockies, the distraught Beth enlists the help of the few remaining guests and a mysterious young woman (Zurer) in a frantic search. Each member of the search party is affected by the adventure, which takes them in unexpected directions – comic, harrowing, and sometimes deeply emotional.
Sony Pictures Classics plans a 2012 release for DARLING COMPANION.