If the Hollywood Reporter is to be believed, Lucasfilm asked Disney to push Episode VII back to 2016 in part to accommodate for the departure of screenwriter Michael Arndt. Disney’s response? Stay on target for 2015.
With the Oct. 24 exit of Star Wars: Episode VII writer Michael Arndt, the studio is under the gun to keep the film on course for a 2015 release despite a script that several insiders say isn’t close to ready.
According to those close to the project, producer Kathleen Kennedy and most of the film’s creative team have asked Disney to push the release to 2016, but studio CEO Robert Iger is adamant that Episode VII — perhaps the franchise’s most anticipated installment since 1999’s The Phantom Menace — not budge. That has created enormous pressure on all involved, with director J.J. Abrams stepping in to take over scripting duties with Lawrence Kasdan, who co-wrote 1980’s Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back, considered the best film in the series.
According to the report, while Kennedy is lobbying for a delayed release, director and screenwriter J.J. Abrams is more in-step with Disney CEO Bob Iger on releasing the film next summer.
I know that personally, I’d be more comfortable delaying the film a year to get it as polished as possible. That said, there’s a lot of very skilled and capable people involved with Episode VII, and if any crew is going to be able to hit all the marks to get the film out two summers from now, it’s them.
Of course, remember that this is all unverified. For all we know these insiders feeding information to the Hollywood Reporter may just be latching on to the moved release date idea and rumors because Disney’s got the well-oiled Marvel machine as well. For all we know, at Disney and Lucasfilm are on the same page for a summer 2015 release.