Two writers tapped to develop screenplays for standalone films
Lucasfilm said the standalones will be written around one character
Next "Star Wars" film due out is Episode VII
Michael Arndt will write that one, and J.J. Abrams will direct
That galaxy far, far away is apparently bigger than first thought.
The “Star Wars” franchise will get two spinoff movies, Disney chief executive officer Bob Iger announced Tuesday.
“We are in development of a few standalone films that are not part of the ‘Star Wars’ saga,” he said. “There are now creative entities working on developing scripts for what would be those standalone films.”
The two films, if they make it out of development, will be released after Episode VII, which Iger said is on target for summer 2015.
Lawrence Kasdan and Simon Kinberg each will write one of the new films and consult on the next three “Star Wars” sequels.
“Each standalone film will focus on a specific character,” Lucasfilm said on its starwars.com site. Lucasfilm will disclose more details about the spinoff in the future, Iger said.
Kasdan wrote the screenplays for “The Empire Strikes Back” and “Return of the Jedi.” He also penned the script for “Raiders of the Lost Ark.”
Kinberg has written eight screenplays, according to the Internet Movie Database. His works include “Mr. & Mrs. Smith” and “Sherlock Holmes.” He also did the screenplay for the next installment in the “X-Men” films, according to IMDB.com.
The announcement comes three months after Disney bought Lucasfilm for $4 billion and just days after it revealed that J.J. Abrams has been signed to direct the next “Star Wars” episode.
Abrams has experience with movies in blockbuster franchises. He directed the 2009 “Star Trek” movie and his company, Bad Robot, produced “Mission: Impossible Ghost Protocol,” the 2011 movie in that franchise. In addition to his film work, Abrams has a long resume on TV. He created “Felicity,” “Alias,” “Lost” and “Fringe,” among others.
Michael Arndt will write the screenplay for Episode VII, according to Disney.
The release of 3-D versions of “Star Wars” Episodes II and III, previously planned for next fall, have been postponed while Lucasfilm focuses on new episodes, executives announced last week.