Kathleen Kennedy and most of the creative staff at Lucasfilm believed that Star Wars Episode VII would benefit from a release-date delay to 2016, according to The Hollywood Reporter, but Disney CEO Robert Iger rejected the idea, insisting that they do whatever they have to in order to ensure the film opens in 2015 as expected.
While the entertainment press have been wondering why there's been no casting news with production scheduled to begin in February, it seems that behind the scenes Lucasfilm's Kathleen Kennedy was vying for more time--something that didn't sit well with Lucasfilm's new corporate overlords. Director J.J. Abrams, meanwhile, is apparently determined to meet the 2015 target date and had not sided with Kennedy.
The story further suggests that Academy Award-winning screenwriter Michael Arndt chose to leave the project, rather than being shown the door, as he was "ready to move on to other projects." Insiders, though, apparently say the script is nowhere close to ready to go, and so new screenwriters J.J. Abrams and Lawrence Kasdan are under enormous pressure to keep the movie on the rails.
At least one source close to the production is downplaying the problems, though.
"It's nothing out of the ordinary," says the insider. "Almost every big movie changes writers at some point. There's no drama here."