‘Stars Wars': ‘Empire Strikes Back’ & ‘X-Men’ Writers Onboard For Episodes 8 & 9 [Updated]

Published 2 years ago by , Updated November 21st, 2012 at 7:24 am,

star wars episodes 8 9 writers Stars Wars: Empire Strikes Back & X Men Writers Onboard For Episodes 8 & 9 [Updated]

Three weeks to the day have passed since the announcement that Disney has officially purchased Lucasfilm from George Lucas and thus gained the rights to properties such as Star Wars, and we’ve been progressively whittling down the list of potential directors to take on Episode VII (the first installment in a new trilogy – and maybe beyond); though, that process has started to become so ridiculous imprecise that it’s given an excuse for our readers to assure us that no: they won’t be directing the new Star Wars movie, either. (Hey, we are here here for your entertainment, after all.)

However, what we do know for certain is that the Episode VII script is being written by Oscar-winner Michael Arndt (Toy Story 3), drawing from a story treatment he penned (based on input and ‘creative guidance’ from Lucas). Moreover, we now have a pretty good idea as to what screenwriters might be taking on the challenge of scripting Episode VIII and Episode IX.

Deadline has been informed by its sources that Disney has approached Lawrence Kasdan and Simon Kinberg about scripting the eighth and ninth live-action Star Wars installments, so as to get the ball rolling on those films as soon as possible. Obviously, if this were another franchise, that could be seen as putting the wagon before the mule; however, this is Star Wars we’re talking about – so you can rest assured Episodes VIII and IX are going to happen. Moreover, Lucas is said to have “mapped out” stories, so there’s even less reason to hold off on beginning the screenwriting process.

UPDATE: THR‘s Borys Kits has Tweeted:

Here’s what I’m hearing on the Star Wars writers: not courting but that deals are closed. And they will also be producers.

Kasdan, as many of you are undoubtedly aware, is no stranger to the Star Wars franchise; in fact, the four-time Oscar-nominee co-wrote The Empire Strikes Back, Return of the Jedi and the story for the Star Wars: Shadows of the Empire video game. He also boasts such titles as Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark, Body Heat, Silverado and Wyatt Earp to his name. While Kasdan’s script work over the past fifteen years hasn’t proven so memorable (Mumford, Dreamcatcher), it’s near-impossible to deny that he posses a strong understanding of what makes the Star Wars series work.

In other words, Kasdan is a fine choice to return as a writer on a future Star Wars installment. He’s also in part responsible for fleshing out Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill), Han Solo (Harrison Ford) and Leia Organa/Skywalker (Carrie Fisher) in the original trilogy, which is just icing on the cake – seeing how there’s a good chance that older versions of all three characters are returning for the new films – and the new trilogy will need protagonists as engaging and well-developed as those three, in order to resonate as strongly with a new generation.

kasdan lucas hamill empire strikes back Stars Wars: Empire Strikes Back & X Men Writers Onboard For Episodes 8 & 9 [Updated]

Kasdan, Lucas and Hamill on the set of ‘Empire Strikes Back’

Kinberg, however, invites more caution than Kasdan, as far as his involvement with Star Wars goes. That’s not to say he hasn’t done solid work on such titles as Mr. and Mrs. Smith and Sherlock Holmes; not to mention, he’s been entrusted to work on the script for director Bryan Singer’s X-Men: Days of Future Past (which is a film where things could easily get bogged down, due to the sheer number of details and characters). On the other hand, his resume includes such underwhelming titles as X-Men: The Last Stand, Jumper and This Means War.

To be fair, though, how much of the responsibility for those film results belongs to the directors – as opposed to Kinberg’s script work – is a matter up for debate. He does possess significant experience putting together tentpole material, which is important. Plus, part of it will come down to whoever agrees to handle the task of helming each new Star Wars film – since their vision(s) is (are) going to determine whether or not these installments can live up to the haughty expectations of the Force-loving masses.

We will keep you updated on the situation concerning Star Wars: Epsiodes VIII and IX as more information is released. Meanwhile, Star Wars: Episode VII will be arriving in theaters in 2015.

Source: Deadline

TAGS: Star wars
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  1. WOW!! Disney is not playing. I’m still ecstatic and at the same time, it’s weird that this is happening. Bring on Jon Favreau as director.

    • After his mediocre work on Iron Man 2 and Cowboys and Aliens I’m not sure how I feel about Favreau taking on Star Wars.

      • I agree with you but I think the guy is very talented and can bring the fun back to Star wars. Plus, he’s a big time director.

      • Agreed. I don’t think Faverau has the chops to handle such a project. He lucked out on IronMan.

      • Kasdan is an awesome writer, just watch Grand Canyon if you can find a copy! But that said, he’s gotta be kept in check. He loves to tell the story about wanting to eliminate one of the main characters early in the Empire film, because he felt there were too many key players. George had to veto the move thank God! Can we imagine Star Wars if Chewie or Leia had been eliminated in the first twenty minutes of the Empire film? I also agree with others here, Favreau may not be the guy! Star Wars was serious business in tone and scope until Return Of The Jedi…that’s what made it work. I would love to see someone directing who keeps it a little dark, and very realistic… like Chris Nolan of the Batman films.

  2. Well, anytime The Empire Strikes Back is referenced, it at least has encouraging implications. I also enjoyed the whole Shadow of the Empire thing.

    As far as screen writers, though, past work is not a guarantee of anthing, necessarily. I think that the same guy who wrote Batman & Robin went on to write A Beautiful Mind. I think that it is really a composite of the whole thing, studio, producers, director, screenwriters, editors.

  3. So happy to hear George Lucas is “creative guidance”. The original trilogy seemed like a much more collaborate success. The new trilogy show him holding all the reigns and the product was in need of some “creative guidance”.

    • +1

  4. Well I love Empire Strikes Back but barely like Return of the Jedi. So i’m a little torn. But most of the ills I have with ROTJ come from Lucas and his stupid decisions i.e. Changing the Wookies to Ewoks in the final battle.

    It still bothers me that Lucas considers Empire Strikes Back to be the worst of the 6 movies. Weird.

    • Whilst ‘The Empire Strikes Back’ is nigh on flawless, ‘Return of the Jedi’ suffered by comparison because Lucas aimed much of it at a younger audience instead of the broad appeal of it’s two predecessors, which is why we got cloying sentimentality regarding the Ewoks – who should have been more feral in nature to balance their apparent cuteness – and the lack of a discernible character arc for Han Solo, plus the fact Lucas should have taken a more hands-off approach to the film, hired a more experienced director (someone like Peter Hunt, who directed the single best James Bond film to date, namely ‘On Her Majesty’s Secret Service’), and given that director the time and relative artistic freedom to do it right, I firmly believe it would have been every bit as good as ‘Star Wars’ and ‘The Empire Strikes Back’… as it is, it’s more akin to ‘The Godfather Part III’ in that whilst it fails to reach the giddy heights of it’s two predecessors, is nonetheless a worthy conclusion to the Trilogy.

      • Northstar

        Totally agree. I watched Star Wars for the first time when I was 6 or 8 in the 90s and I found ROTJ to be very disappointing in comparision to the ANH & ESB but I still like it better than the prequels. Was not a fan of the re-hashed Death Star Plot, Han’s horrible out of character arc, the Luke/Leia sibling thing after they kissed (actually made me vomit lol), the Ewoks, and Darth Vader’s face — who I thought was black or a bad a** or a deadly combination of the two! Who is this pale soft spoken p*ssy! The prequels would explore that in detail only a few years later. lol.

        But I can say I did find the Vader vs Luke to be a really great and suspenseful fight scene with a lot of emmotions. Despite the better choreography of the prequels this fight scene is still miles better.

        • Northern Star ***

        • I totally agree with both of you. Return of the Jedi is an honorable conclusion- especially when considering how the prequel trilogy turned out- but it could have been way different and better.

          Personally I cannot decide which film I enjoy more, Star Wars or The Empire Strikes Back but Return of the Jedi falls short of both. Sure the success of the first two films in terms of quality film making and great storytelling will be hard to match and live up to, plus not to mention the difficulty of writing and shaping the ending to such an impressionable story/series.

          I hate to be on the Lucas hate train, but I do recognize that somewhere along the line Lucas lost sight of his original intentions and creative idealism. Lucas did create two popular series: The Star Wars and Indiana Jones Adventure films. Return of the Jedi was early evident that something has changed.

          Return of the Jedi resembles what occurred this year with Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight Rises. The film in its essence was good. It was the emotional tie-in conclusion of the the trilogy. The Luke vs. Darth Vader fight was near flawless. When the Emperor proved powerful and Luke yelling out in pain to his father is great. The film however dropped the ball.

          Lucas diverged from his original idea and was not open to collaborative effort as he was before. His producer even left after Empire. I do not doubt Lucas have some ideas but collaborative efforts is needed. Sort of like the rebellion was a collaborative effort rather it be like the empire where Lucas is unchallenged.

          Return of the Jedi would have been darker and not have an upbeat ending. Maybe it was not the film needed at the time but it is what was deserved. The Dark Knight Rises tried being too epic and distance itself from the The Dark Knight, that it did a disservice to the story that in its essence its nearly solid.

          Both of these last chapter movies actually share much similarity. Both are honorable conclusions to their respective trilogy by offering emotionally climatic swan songs to their main protagonists and incredible craftsmanship. But both distant themselves from the highly successful and better second act films by recycling major plot points from the first film. Good endings need to circle back to the beginning but not lean to heavily on it and ignoring the tone and escalation of the second act.

          I do not know how I feel by these two writers.

          • I agree. While I enjoy TDKR it’s obvious the movie needed more time but due to IMAX constrictions the movie could only be 165 minutes long. Another 15-20 minutes would have been wonderful.

            ROTJ is another beast. This is a film that was going to be “this” but we got “that” because Lucas wanted to sell more toys and appeal to a younger generation. ROTJ is good conclusion but should have been a great one. All the ingredients were there. The Luke vs Vader fight however is a masterpiece in itself. Such a great fight with almost no fighting. Beautifully shot as well.

        • So… wait… you knew from ESB that Vader was Luke’s father, but you expected him to be black????

          • Hell Yeah man. I def thought Luke was half black. I have a cousin who is bi-racial but looks like both his parents would be white. Plus I recognized his voice instantly as James Earl Jones (huge Sandlot fan).

    • LOL no he doesn’t, who told you that?

  5. Interesting, so Lucas has more or less told them what to write!

  6. Why is everyone so gung ho about Kasden’s involvement? He wrote Empire 30 years ago and hasn’t written a great movie since the 80’s. Kennedy should stick with Arndt for all 3 films in my opinion.

  7. Star Wars is not like other films.

    No Director wants to be known as the one “Who destroyed Star Wars.”

    Nor do the writers. Disney may think they have a goldmine, but EVEN they have to be wary of putting something out that is bad. This is not an animated pixar movie, which is geared towards children. This is Star Wars.

    You get one chance to succeed, if you fail, or you change the general concept you will find a pile of dead burning jawas on your front lawn.

    • Poor Jawas :(

  8. Woooow I’m lie so excited for these next movies but I wish it would come out earlier :/ well who ever is the new director I wish him the best of luck, cause I’m a fanatic of Star Wars & I hope it will be great

  9. Mr. and Mrs. Smith and Sherlock Holmes were both terrible but Kasdan’s return is good news.

  10. I think most people are happy for these two because talent comes out when you’re writing about your favorite story or genre .. and for Kasdan and kinberg, its obviously STAR WARS.

  11. I can see how Kasdan would be involved because if I recall, he did mention that Lucas had another trilogy in mind with Luke searching for his sister and fighting the emperor on what was supposed to be episode 9. Sandy, could you find out about that and maybe have a link to that interview he did that he was talking about how displeased he was with Return of the Jedi?

  12. Kasdan and Arndt should just write them themselves. If memory serves, Kasdan was the one who ended ROTJ with Luke wandering off alone into the desert like a spaghetti western, and it began with that awesome and unfortunately deleted scene of Vader reaching to Luke through the Force while he builds his lightsaber in the cave (or Obi Wan’s home) on Tatooine. I’m guessing he also wrote the original version that didn’t have the ewoks. Basically, it would’ve been a perfect tonal continuation of Empire, but merchandising dictated its direction into teddy bears and fireworks. Here’s to hoping the new trilogy isn’t an orgy of toys flying around on screen like the prequels.

  13. Anytime Disney gets involved with a long-favored storyline, we all have reason to worry. However, I am still pretty happy that Lucas finally allowed someone else to take over the franchise. For years I have thought about the incredible storylines that could have bee played out in the Star Wars universe. Instead of movies or even a fantastic tv series, all lucasfilm managed to crank out were three mediocre movies and an animated series that is pretty lame.
    If I could say anything to the future writers and directors of Star Wars projects. Don’t push it too hard. If you look back at the original trilogy that has become legendary, there was action yes, but also time to enjoy our beloved characters. High intensity action is great, but don’t forget to have some people that we can relate to! When I look at the utter failure of Prometheus, I can’t help but seeing a movie-making industry that has forgot who to create endearing characters who are the viewers vehicle for visiting the landscapes of the movie-story.

    • It is more like he said, 4 Billion and its yours.


    • He is too grounded for Star Wars.

  15. I may be in the minority here. Nothing against Star Wars, I enjoyed the Original 3

    And Revenge of the Sith, however in all honesty. I think I have actually outgrew Star Wars, the mystique it had for me as a child, it is no longer there.