Shortly after Star Wars Episode VII reportedly dropped Michael Arndt from screenplay duties, replacing him with director J.J. Abrams and longtime Star Wars writer Lawrence Kasdan, reports started to come out that Lucasfilm had asked for an extension on its 2015 deadline for release, and been rejected by Disney.
At the time, the two seemed to be tangentially connected at best and, to some, painted the picture of a movie in serious trouble. As it turns out, the truth is somewhat simpler and less scary: with less time than he wanted to have, Abrams apparently wanted to be more hands-on with earlier drafts of the script, presumably to stop him having to be rewriting during principal photography in order to match it to his vision for the film.
"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," said the Episode VII director told Deadline. "Working with Larry Kasdan, especially on a Star Wars movie is kind of unbeatable."
Of working with Michael Arndt, the Academy Award-winning screenwriter who exited the project citing his own scheduling issues, Abrams added, “Working with Michael was a wonderful experience and I couldn’t be a bigger fan of his or adore him more, He’s a wonderful guy and was incredibly helpful in the process.” He didn't rule out the possibility of working with Arndt again in the future, although whether that's a statement about Star Wars or just in general isn't clear.