Late last month it was announced that Star Wars: Episode VII director J.J. Abrams and producer Lawrence Kasdan would be assuming the screenwriting duties previously assigned to Michael Arndt. Abrams explained today to Deadline that the decision was a matter of “time”:
It became clear that given the time frame and given the process and the way the thing was going that working with Larry in this way was going to get us where we need to be and when we needed to be. Working with Larry Kasdan, especially on a Star Wars movie is kind of unbeatable.
Deadline caught up with Abrams during a media conference call the director and J.H. Wyman were participating in regarding Almost Human; the upcoming Fox sci-fi series the two men are co-executive producing.
Abrams had nothing but praise for Arndt (who recently penned The Hunger Games: Catching Fire):
Working with Michael was a wonderful experience and I couldn’t be a bigger fan of his or adore him more, He’s a wonderful guy and was incredibly helpful in the process.
The director went on to imply that while he may have no further part in the first of the new trilogy, Disney, and the Star Wars franchise, hasn’t necessarily seen the last of Michael Arndt:
That doesn’t preclude working with Michael again in the future. He is one of the best writers around.
Star Wars: Episode VII is scheduled to begin filming early next year in the U.K., and to be released on December 18th, 2015.