Lawrence Kasdan And Simon Kinberg Talk STAR WARS: EPISODE VII And Stand Alone Films
Screenwriters Kasdan and Kinberg, who will be consulting on the new Star Wars trilogy and are writing character spin-offs, talk about working on such an iconic franchise together, rumors, fans, and more.
In a lengthy interview with IGN, screenwriters Lawrence Kasdan and Simon Kinberg talk about their roles within Disney's new Star Wars films. It was recently confirmed that they will be writing two separate character spin-offs, and that they will be consulting on Episode VII, which will be written by Michael Ardnt and directed by J.J. Abrams. Both say that their landing the jobs came from a meeting with Lucasfilm's Kathleen Kennedy last fall. Below, Kasdan comments on working on the franchise yet again, while both share their thoughts on fanboys, rumors, characters, and more. Star Wars: Episode VII is targeting a 2015 release.
Kasdan On His Reaction To Being Offered A Role In The New Star Wars Movies:
"I was pleased that there would be new ones, that there was a chance to capture some of the spirit of the original trilogy that I’d worked on. I thought there’s an audience out there -- my grandchildren, lots of original Star Wars people -- and there always will be. It’s only good that we try to do some more great ones."
Kasdan On Fans And Inevitable Rumors:
"They’re going to be fun. J.J. (Abrams)’s a great director for the first sequel. Perfect. We’re very happy to have him. The writers I’ve been working with -- Michael Arndt, who’s going to write the sequel, and Simon Kinberg, who has, like me, been sort of consulting -- they’re great. I’ve never really collaborated a lot, and I’ve never been a room with a bunch of writers thinking, “Well, what should this thing be?” It’s fun. It’s really fun. And J.J.’s a writer. Yeah, lovely guy. I’d met him but didn’t know him. But now I’m totally enamored by him. He’s really funny and so enthusiastic."
Kinberg On Working With Lawrence Kasdan And His Filmography:
"Raiders and The Empire Strikes Back were the two reasons I wanted to get into movies when I was a kid. I didn’t know that you could write movies, I didn’t know what the process was of making movies. I just knew I wanted to make movies like that. Then I found out he wrote Jedi, The Big Chill and ten other classic movies. He’s been an idol of mine from when I was a kid, through high school, through film school. I studied Raiders and Empire more than any other movies. I’ve watched each of them probably one hundred-plus times. He’s a lovely guy, and I’ve gotten to know him a bit. He’s as good a guy as he is a writer, which doesn’t happen all the time with your idols.
"It’s an amazingly surreal thing, to imagine Larry as a colleague, because he has been my idol my whole life. It’s like, if you grew up wanting to play basketball, and suddenly you’re on the team with Michael Jordan. Larry’s mind for screenwriting is sharper than anybody’s I’ve met. He’s the guy that wrote Raiders and Jedi and Body Heat and The Big Chill and Silverado -- he just has an innate understanding of storytelling, an essential understanding, unlike anything I’ve seen. ... It’s so very surreal for me to spend time with Larry and for Larry to know my name. Every time he says my name, I’m a little surprised and it feels like a thrill. So yeah, I’ve asked him questions, and he is great at telling stories about the process of making those movies that were the classics of our time and the bedrocks for us growing up."
Kinberg On His Approach To Film Projects As A Screenwriter:
"I honestly try to approach all of these movies -- whether it’s a title like X-Men or Sherlock Holmes or Star Wars -- as a fan. I try to block out the anxiety I feel if I worry too much about the responsibility, and I just try to focus on the fun of it and the reasons why I grew up reading X-Men comics and watching Star Wars movies and reading Sherlock Holmes stories, that first time I read or watched any of those things and why they were so magical to me. I try to honor that and return to that as I would a fan. That’s the way I feel. When I wake up in the morning and I’m working on an X-Men movie, it’s insane for me every day because I’m so excited to get to work."
Kinberg On The Rumors And Fanboys:
"I understand the interest in the movies, because I would be interested and I am interested as a pure fan. I’ve never seen a level of attention for a movie that isn’t in theaters yet as I have for Star Wars movies, and I understand why, because they are arguably the greatest stories and the biggest cultural benchmark of our time. They’re, for our generation, the movies that made many of us want to get into movies in the first place. So there is a level of passion and emotion connected to Star Wars that may be greater than other franchises. I try to not worry about speculation about the movies. I just think it’s great that there’s excitement about the movies. I’ve worked on movies where you have to generate excitement. This is one where the excitement is built in."
Kinberg On Working With Either New Or Establish Characters:
"This is what I would say: as a fan, I wouldn’t want to know too much. I know that’s impossible because it’s not the '70s or '80s anymore, but part of what was so exciting about A New Hope for me was I was entering into a universe I didn’t know. Even in Empire, I was surprised by a twist I never would have seen coming. But it’s different nowadays. I understand the excitement, and I’m happy that people are interested, obviously. But I’d rather people have something left to discover when they go in."
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