EMPIRE STRIKES BACK Writer Lawrence Kasdan Returning To STAR WARS

And he's bringing Simon Kinberg with him.

Disney is busting ass on the new Star Wars trilogy. They've got Michael Arndt nailed down to write the first film, and we should be hearing who is directing any day now (right after Thanksgiving, possibly. My money is on Jon Favreau, but we'll see). And now they've got writers for the next two films in the trilogy, both of whom will act as producers. 

As to who the writers are: I have good news and I have bad news. The good news is that one of them is Lawrence Kasdan, who also wrote The Empire Strikes Back and Raiders of the Lost Ark. The bad news is that it's not Lawrence Kasdan plucked from the timestream in 1980, but rather the post-Dreamcatcher and Darling Companion Lawrence Kasdan. And he's bringing Simon Kinberg along for the ride. You'll remember Kinberg from films like This Means War and Mr. & Mrs. Smith

Kasdan's presence is surely to signal 'Hey, we're not making the Prequels again, we swear to Christ.' Kinberg is the consumate generic blockbuster guy these days, so he fits right in with Arndt, who's as technically perfect and emotionally hollow as possible. These are not dangerous choices being made - Lucasfilm isn't trying to pull a Marvel Studios and surprise everybody. In fact it's his shocking hire by Marvel Studios that makes Favreau the safe front runner for the job right now. 

Next up: casting information. That's when plot details begin leaking, and when speculation really goes nuts.

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