Official Info Michael Arndt no longer writing Episode VII

Discussion in 'Star Wars: New Films - No Spoilers Allowed' started by citizenmilton, Oct 24, 2013.

  1. citizenmilton Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 30, 2012
    star 1
    The news broke today. Arndt is out, JJ & Kasdan are in.

    Lucasfilm's official release says:
    Devin Faraci of BadassDigest characterizes the magnitude of the changes:
    I sense a major disturbance in the force. Arndt's involvement was the primary source for my optimism on the sequels. Abrams has never been impressive as a writer, his strengths have tended toward production and direction. The last good piece of writing from Kasdan happened in 1991, by my count.

    My confidence in the sequel trilogy has plummeted. I'm a huge fan of Arndt's gifts as a writer, specifically in his ability to bring meaning and substance to entertainment. JJ Abrams can bring fireworks and pyrotechnics, he can bring cleverness, he can bring humor, he can bring a short-term emotional connection for a character (but struggles to sustain) - and, I'm afraid he's never shown an interest or an ability to wrestle with anything substantial. Yes, the Joseph Campbell structures have become absorbed by popular culture and partly because of Star Wars's popularity, filmmakers like Abrams can cite that influence. But I've never gotten the sense that he's intellectually engaged with that kind of material, that he can understand the core of the ideas in a way to regenerate it and create something new from the same spark of fire.

    Hope I'm wrong, but today might be the day we learned that EP VIII was destined for Star Trekkian mediocrity.

    My only source of hope right now is hoping that somehow Kasdan can defy the trajectory of his late career and recapture his early brilliance, and with the added wisdom of his many experiences bring something substantial to the script.
  2. Placeholder Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 30, 2013
    star 4
    Maybe we get Empire Strikes Back quality Star Wars. That would be fantastic.
    DarthKreVass and TrandoJedi like this.
  3. KED12345 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 10, 2012
    star 4
    [IMG]
    Last edited by KED12345, Oct 24, 2013
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  4. citizenmilton Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 30, 2012
    star 1
    I assure you this isn't a knee-jerk response. I've seen nearly every film the three principals in the story have been involved with. I've actually read scripts from all three. I've come to this opinion following each of their careers for quite some time.

    Of course judging a film's chances by reputation alone is an unreliable indicator. Even the most brilliant of writers are capable of churning out total dreck. It's completely plausible that Arndt's script was a dud. After Episode VII is released, I'll be eager to compare Arndt's script with Abrams/Kasdan's.

    And we really won't know until the film is released whether or not firing Arndt was a wise choice. It's certainly possible that Abrams made a gutsy call and is following an inspired path that will vindicate his decision (and I'll gladly come onto the forums and eat massive helpings of crow). But at this point in time, based on the information we have now, this news seems much more likely to indicate a diminished chance at success.
  5. Placeholder Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 30, 2013
    star 4
    I would imagine it was Kennedy's call ultimately.
  6. Poor Greedo Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 6, 2012
    star 2
    I'll be honest I am a little perturbed about this news. Arndts previous work with ensemble casts was very well written. He has a knack for family friendly fun with a hint of danger. The very essence of Star Wars.
    I hold out hope that the young fanboy in JJ and the old veteran Kazdan can deliver a solid Star Wars experience. I too would love to read that rejected script.
    Immortiss likes this.
  7. Darth Tunes SfC Part III Commissioner

    Game Host
    Member Since:
    Nov 26, 2000
    star 10
    I'm withholding any judgment on this until trailers, etc, are released, and thus the merits of the script can truly be debated.
    TrandoJedi likes this.
  8. citizenmilton Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 30, 2012
    star 1

    Excellent point, yeah. It would've been KK's call ultimately, and her involvement is a reason for optimism in this choice. I still strongly prefer Arndt as a writer over Abrams/Kasdan2013.... but since she likely made the call, maybe she was persuaded by a new pitch from Abrams & Kasdan. If Arndt's script truly was worth salvaging, she would've felt it and fought for it.

    Had been placing my faith in Arndt, maybe I'll transfer that faith over to Kennedy, and focus on her merits instead of focusing on the many reasons to doubt Abrams & Kasdan.
  9. Lars_Muul Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Oct 2, 2000
    star 6
    I don't see the LFL release stating that Arndt's work was rejected. What KK says is that he's brought them to "this point", which by my reasoning should mean that JJ and LK will build on his work.
    Another point: Hasn't Kasdan sucked in recent years because he's only been writing for his own movies? It seems to me like he excels at turning other filmmakers' ideas into solid scripts.





    - Suddenly, I'm afraid.
    - Oh, don't worry. He'll be alright.

    /LM
  10. Lars_Muul Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Oct 2, 2000
    star 6
    If that Badass Digest article turns out to be right, though, I'd agree with Devin's conclusion. It is a good thing that they're taking the time they need to make a great Star Wars movie.
    I have faith.





    - Have faith, my love. Everything will soon be set right.
    - So certain are you.

    /LM
  11. darthtuttle Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 2, 2004
    star 4
    First of all, we have a Star Wars veteran working on the script. This could give it more of the spirit of Star Wars. Also, having the director work on the script could make it more unified with his vision for the film.
    anakinfansince1983 likes this.
  12. Lars_Muul Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Oct 2, 2000
    star 6
    I agree. Another thing to keep in mind: GL will remain available for support and JJ has stated that he will be going to him for feedback. He was reluctant to take the job in the first place and wouldn't dream of NOT making it as Star Wars as he possibly can.





    - I can't do it, Ben.
    - Just relax. Concentrate.

    /LM
    Last edited by Lars_Muul, Oct 25, 2013
  13. Placeholder Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 30, 2013
    star 4
    Until something definitive comes out on the subject, which may not happen until long after the film is made, there probably won't be any way to know from the outside how much of Arndt's work remains in the final product.

    They could be scrapping the script, they could be just touching some things up, or anything in between. I don't see how anyone can know unless they are in those meetings.

    I'm not taking that Devin Faraci quote at face value. Nothing against Devin Faraci to be sure, I don't know enough about him one way or the other.
    Last edited by Captain Tom Coughlin, Oct 25, 2013
  14. EHT New Films Manager

    Manager
    Member Since:
    Sep 13, 2007
    star 6
    Yeah, we don't know the details behind the scenes, but there is nothing in the official announcement to say that Arndt's work thus far has necessarily been scrapped and they're starting over. It may actually be true when they suggest that his role in the larger process is done, and Abrams and Kasdan are now working on touching up and polishing what Arndt did so far.

    The panicking and jumping to conclusions, especially in the equivalent thread in the 7SA forum, is a bit much IMO.
  15. Placeholder Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 30, 2013
    star 4
    Yep, we just don't know.
  16. citizenmilton Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 30, 2012
    star 1
    Actually, there is. The release states that JJ & LK are "assuming screenwriting duties" - that phrasing suggest they're taking over.

    Also, Arndt is not mentioned as remaining as screenwriter, which implies he will not be credited as a screenwriter on the film. If he was just "handing off" a half-usable script, the press release would likely say that "JJ & LK are joining the writing team along with Arndt." The exclusion is very telling.

    Writers' Guild rules are such that the first writer on a project, it's almost impossible to remove their name from the credits unless it is a massive page-one rewrite. If any of the core fundamentals of his script remained (characters, arcs, sequences), he would still be getting a co-writing credit along with JJ & LK.

    Sure, it's possible that Arndt will still be credited as a writer on the film and have significant aspects of his work used - maybe it's a poorly phrased announcement (but I doubt it - it was likely vetted by Disney's legal team several times). The press release's phrasing strongly suggests a page-one rewrite. Whether or not that's a good or bad thing, we may never know.
    GGrievous likes this.
  17. Skelter Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 31, 2012
    star 1
    There has to be a reason this happened, I have faith this movie is going to be awesome. There is still lot's of talent behind this film.
  18. Darth Chiznuk PT Trivia Master / Game Host

    Game Host
    Member Since:
    Oct 31, 2012
    star 5
    This has never been a one man show. From the very first video with Lucas and Kennedy immediately after the sale they made it clear that they were sitting down with a number of writers to hash out the story. Arndt was a member of a team of writers that also included Lucas, Kasdan, Kinberg and JJ once he signed on to direct. Arndt has now obviously stepped aside (we don't know the reasons) but the other core members of the group are still there and I find it unlikely that they would just throw out everything they have all been working on and start over.
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  19. Placeholder Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 30, 2013
    star 4
    We know they're taking over. Taking over can mean a lot of things. We don't know what it means. A rewrite can be major, it can be minor. They didn't bring in anyone new.
    SkywalkerSquadron likes this.
  20. Yanksfan Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Nov 3, 2000
    star 5
    I'm with the author of this thread, this is terrible news to me! I was *sooo* psyched when I heard he was going to be the writer. And they're overhauling the script *now*? It's either going to be extremely rushed (which makes me nervous), or they're going to have to push back filming and the release date (which would also suck, but I'd rather wait and have a great film, then not wait, and have another "Phantom Menace").

    *sigh* I'm disheartened by this news. I can't help it.
  21. TrandoJedi Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 4, 2011
    star 4
    I'm not too concerned at the idea of a Abrams/Kasdan doing the script but I'm concerned about why Ardnt is out in the first place?
  22. SkywalkerSquadron Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Feb 2, 2013
    star 4
    Am I the only one who isn't upset about the change? I wasn't super excited for Arndt, but Kasdan and J.J. sound decent to me. I am curious as to how major the changes will be though, and why Arndt is out.
  23. Chrono85 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 31, 2012
    star 1
    I doubt that it's a total rewrite, but Arbams and Kasdan would likely keep any of the good parts and add their own ideas, which can't be bad thing :). I don't see how any Star Wars fan could be disappointed at the prospect of Lawrence Kasdan writing Episode VII :).
  24. Placeholder Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 30, 2013
    star 4
    I'm not upset by it. I withhold all judgements until I have seen the film.
    SkywalkerSquadron likes this.
  25. TrandoJedi Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 4, 2011
    star 4
    I'm kind of excited by Kasdan writing the film *looks at The Empire Strikes Back*
    Captain Tom Coughlin likes this.