[caption id="attachment_152751" align="alignleft" width="300"] Disney[/caption]One of the key ingredients to the success of that sweet original "Star Wars"trilogy was maverick screenwriter Lawrence Kasdan, who brought his trademark wit ("You could use a good kiss!"), bold characterizations and dramatic urgency to the scripts for "The Empire Strikes Back" and "Return of the Jedi."
Now discerning fans can take a Xanax and relax a little more knowing the sequels will be in good hands, Kasdan's hands, as The Hollywood Reporter confirms that deals have closed to have him, along with ace writer Simon Kinberg (of the "X-Men" and "Sherlock Holmes" franchises), come aboard to write and produce Episodes 8 and 9.
The big idea is to get them going on the next two chapters simultaneously with Michael Arndt's work on Episode 7 so as to create a more cohesive new trilogy. That's a smart move on Disney and producer Kathleen Kennedy's part, especially when you consider the studio's experience on the "Pirates of the Caribbean" movies, the third of which started shooting pretty much without a script and spiraled into one of the most expensive – not to mention dumb - blockbusters ever.
Recent years have not been kind to Kasdan, with his latest directorial effort "Darling Companion" barely seeing release, and attempts to get back into the tentpole game with early scripts for "Clash of the Titans" and "Robotech" were not used. The 63-year-old's '80s heyday writing hits like "Raiders of the Lost Ark" and directing "The Big Chill," among others, may not be over quite yet, as he was recently brought in by Lucas and Kennedy to spruce up some of the repartee between Indy and Marion in "Kingdom of the Crystal Skull." Admittedly, not the worst parts of that enterprise.
Kinberg is no slouch either, and his prior involvement with Matthew Vaughn on "X-Men: First Class" and recently-vacated "X-Men: Days of Future Past" adds another shred of credibility to the rumors of Vaughn's courtship to direct. Punch it, Chewie!