New Writers Added to the Next Star Wars Trilogy

The screenwriters of Sherlock Holmes and The Empire Strikes Back will team up for either Episode VIII or Episode IX.

William Bibbianiby William Bibbiani

Disney ain't screwing around with these Star Wars movies. A few weeks after the original announcement that they were acquiring LucasFilm and releasing the first installment of an all-new trilogy in 2015 (the same year as The Avengers 2 and Justice League, if you're paying attention) was followed shortly thereafter with the announcement that Toy Story 3 co-writer Michael Arndt would be writing the first film, Star Wars: Episode VII. Now, we're hearing that Disney has signed Simon Kinberg (Sherlock Holmes) and Lawrence Kasdan (The Empire Strikes Back) to co-wrote one of the following installments. 

The only thing they're hazy about, according to the story at Hollywood Reporter, is whether Kinberg and Kasdan will be writing Episode VIII or Episode IX, or some combination thereof, and who's going to direct the damned things. Surely people are already expecting that the presence of Kinberg, who co-wrote X-Men: First Class, could lend credence to the rumor that First Class director Matthew Vaughn is a frontrunner for the gig. It's an increasingly popular rumor, what with the rest of Hollywood's filmmaking elite turning down the possibility left and right.

Kinberg is a hot commodity these days, although his screenwriting resume is a little on the spotty side, including well-regarded hits like Sherlock Holmes and Mr. and Mrs. Smith and duds like xXx: State of the Union and X-Men: The Last Stand. Lawrence Kasdan, however, is blockbuster royalty after contributing to classics like Raiders of the Lost Ark, The Empire Strikes Back, Return of the Jedi and The Bodyguard. He's also an accomplished director in his on right, having helmed such popular gems as Body Heat, The Big Chill and I Love You to Death. Then again, he also wrote and directed Dreamcatcher, so nobody's perfect.

The real question, and one we'd really like answered, is whether Kinberg and Kasdan are working together with Michael Arndt in any capacity, perhaps off of Arndt's 40+ page treatment or separately off of a grander, perhaps studio-driven design. We don't necessarily want to know what these films are about just yet, not that we wouldn't be curious to find out, but we'd sure like to hear someone confidently explain that they have a plan, and how they expect that plan to shake out. 

In any case, the writer of The Empire Strikes Back is doing another Star Wars movie. For once, geeks have nothing to complain about. Except maybe the Simon Kinberg thing (what, you're not Jumper fans?).

Follow William Bibbiani on Twitter at @WilliamBibbiani.