News came a little while ago that Michael Arndt has been replaced by both J.J. Abrams (Super 8) and Lawrence Kasdan (The Empire Strikes Back, Return of the Jedi). Rumors at the time pointed directly at Disney insisting that the release date for Star Wars: Episode VII would be 2015. Interestingly, the announced release date on December 18, 2015 places it about 4 months after the next D23 Expo.
But why has this shift in screenwriters happened?
Abrams was on a conference call, and Deadline reported he said the following:
It became clear that given the time frame and given the process and the way the thing was going that working with Larry in this way was going to get us where we need to be and when we needed to be. Working with Larry Kasdan, especially on a Star Wars movie is kind of unbeatable.
Working with Michael was a wonderful experience and I couldn’t be a bigger fan of his or adore him more, He’s a wonderful guy and was incredibly helpful in the process. [This event] doesn’t preclude working with Michael again in the future, he is one of the best writers around.