Star Wars Episodes VIII and IX Lock Down Empire Strikes Back, X-Men Writers

Star Wars Episode VII Release Date

Lucasfilm and Disney have locked down Lawrence Kasdan, writer of The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi, to write one of the upcoming Star Wars sequels, according to a report at The Hollywood Reporter.

While the sequels will be made from a treatment by Michael Arndt (the Toy Story 3 scribe who is writing Episode VII), from an outline by series creator George Lucas, it's being reported that Episodes VIII and IX will be written by Kasdan and X-Men: First Class writer Simon Kinberg.

According to THR, "the division of responsibilities"--that is, what episodes each will be responsible for--is as yet uncertain, but Kasdan and Kinberg are signed on as writers for one episode each and producers on at least their own episode. It seems likely that each of the three writers will be credited as producers on all three of the sequels.

Kasdan, who also wrote Raiders of the Lost Ark for Lucasfilm, is a fan favorite and while Kinberg seems a bit like a dark horse for the job, he's currently working with Disney on a live-action Cinderella film.

In the years since Return of the Jedi, Kasdan has focused mostly on smaller, more character-centric pieces. He's had big hits with projects like The Big Chill and The Bodyguard, but has returned to larger-budget, genre fare once or twice with Silverado (the 1985 version, not the recent made-for-TV treatment) and the Stephen King adaptation Dreamcatcher.

His son, Jake Kasdan, has become a strong director in his own right with films like Zero Effect and Bad Teacher to his credit in between writing and/or directing for TV on shows like Freaks & Geeks, The New Girl and Californication. Jake Kasdan was one of our own dark horse candidates to direct the Star Wars sequels.