"Star Wars: Episode VII" will hit theaters Dec. 18, 2015, Lucasfilm and Disney announced Thursday, ending heated speculation as to whether J.J. Abrams’ movie will be done in time for a 2015 release. “We’re very excited to share the official 2015 release date for ‘Star Wars: Episode VII,’ where it will not only anchor the popular holiday filmgoing season but also ensure our extraordinary filmmaking team has the time needed to deliver a sensational picture,” said Walt Disney Studios chairman Alan Horn.
Abrams and Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy recently announced that Lawrence Kasdan, who co-wrote 1980’s “Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back,” considered the best film in the “Star Wars” series, is coming aboard to rework the script with Abrams upon the exit of “Episode VII” writer Michael Arndt.
Informed sources tell Vulture that Star Wars: Episode VII has found a leading candidate to write the film’s screenplay: Michael Arndt, the Pixar favorite who was nominated for an Oscar for Toy Story 3, won an Oscar for Little Miss Sunshine, and wrote The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, which is currently shooting. Insiders confirm that Arndt has written a 40- to 50-page treatment for the film and is likely to be at least one of the writers when the Disney/Lucasfilm project begins shooting in 2014.
Great news. Hopefully this is the beginning of an expansive Pixar/Star Wars talent share.