News today that director J.J. Abrams and Star Wars vet Lawrence Kasdan are taking over writing duties on the upcoming Star Wars: Episode VII, has some wondering if everything is okay in the Star Wars universe.
Lucasfilm announced today that Michael Arndt, best known for Little Miss Sunshine, would no longer be penning the script. Instead, Abrams would just do the thing himself alongside Kasdan, who worked on Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi. Though Lucasfilm's Kathleen Kennedy was upbeat in a statement she released, writing, "I am very excited about the story we have in place and thrilled to have Larry and J.J. working on the script," the news is being taken as a sign that not everything is going according to plan. Entertainment Weekly's Anthony Breznican, who noted that it's unclear whether Arndt will have any role moving forward, asked, "Is this a disturbance in the Force?" The Hollywood Reporter's Tatiana Siegel also joked: "Trouble in that galaxy far far away?"
Meanwhile, /FILM's Russ Fischer predicted that this news will begin a flood of doom and gloom production stories: "This is the point where people will start coming out of the woodwork with some things they’ve heard over the past couple months. Devin Faraci at Badass Digest, for example, says that Abrams started from scratch very recently. "
Until today, there had been a dearth of news about the project. Disney didn't even drop any bombs during their Comic-Con-esque D23 conference. There's an "expected 2015" release, but no specific date, even though there were reports recently that they were aiming for spring or summer of that year. There has been no casting news, even though actors like Michael B. Jordan and Saoirse Ronan have said they've auditioned. Even Harrison Ford has recently been teasing about his return.
Rewrites for these type of big projects are common, but with no other concrete news to chew on, this one is leaving folks a little unsettled.