J.J. Abrams on Star Wars: Episode VII’s Writer Shift

It came as a bit of a surprise to fans when the announcement hit last month that Toy Story 3 screenwriter Michael Arndt is no longer attached to J.J. Abrams’ Star Wars: Episode VII. Instead, Abrams himself is supplying the screenplay with The Empire Strikes Back scribe Lawrence Kasdan. Today, during a press event for his new series, “Almost Human,” (per Deadline) Abrams explained the reasons for Arndt’s departure.

“Working with Michael was a wonderful experience and I couldn’t be a bigger fan of his or adore him more,” Abrams says. “He’s a wonderful guy and was incredibly helpful in the process… [But] 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.”

Star Wars: Episode VII is rumored to focus on a new generation of heroes and could feature appearances by Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher and Harrison Ford in older incarnations of their beloved characters from the original “Star Wars” trilogy. It is expected to begin production early next year and will hit theaters in 2015.

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