J.J. Abrams Scrambles as Disney Demands 2015 'Star Wars 7' Release

The production crew wanted to push the release to 2016. The screenplay is still nowhere near ready for shooting, will this all result in a bad movie?

Disney CEO demands that Star Wars be released in 2015
Disney CEO demands that Star Wars be released in 2015
Amidst rumors that Star Wars: Episode VII is gearing up for a 2016 release date announcement, Disney CEO Bob Iger demands a firm 2015 release date be locked in place, which has sent director J.J. Abrams and his creative crew scrambling to make a movie.

This news comes on the heels of the recent announcement that J.J. Abrams and Lawrence Kasdan have taken over screenwriting duties from Michael Arndt, who is no longer with the production. Wednesday marked the one year anniversary of Disney buying LucasFilm, and in those 356 days, Arndt was unable to get the story approved for shooting. Sources continue to state this morning that the screenplay is still nowhere near ready to go, as Abrams and Kasdan, who wrote Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back, are in a mad rush to hammer out something suitable for production.

Anyone who followed Star Trek Into Darkness during its shoot will remember that cast and crew complained constantly about the screenplay not being ready before it went in front of cameras. And that the story was changing day to day on set. This resulted in a movie quite a few fans were unhappy with. Despite its lack of intelligence in presenting plausible science fact and logic, it did manage to garner high critical praise and a healthy cinema score upon its release this past summer. But it has since been called the worst Star Trek movie in the franchise. Could we see the same thing happen with Star Wars: Episode VII?

Producer Kathleen Kennedy, along with most of her creative team, have begged Disney to push the release date to 2016. But according to sources inside the production, Bob Iger has refused to budge. This has caused a tremendous amount of pressure and stress for all involved.

Its also being reported that Michael Arndt, who worked on the screenplay exclusively since last October and had a 50 page treatment ready to go before Lucasfilm was sold to Disney, left on his own accord to work on other projects, because no one could agree on the story enough to move forward. He is one of the highest paid screenwriters in Hollywood, and he decided his talents could be better placed elsewhere. Rumor has J.J. Abrams scrapping the Michael Arndt draft completely to focus on an entirely different set of characters.

Tied into this, other sources say that casting is causing a problem, and that J.J. Abrams has sidestepped Kathleen Kennedy in finding the prefect people for these undisclosed roles at hand. Some dispute that rumor, saying that they are both working together to find the perfect cast, and that they are in sync, and working to meet Disney's 2015 deadline. This is allowing for a zero margin of error, and it will 'come at all costs'.

According to those within Bob Iger's inner circle, the CEO is standing firm on his 2015 release date, because he has already worked out a strategic game plan that hinges on Star Wars: Episode VII hitting screens that summer. If it fails to do so, it will put his six year plan in jeopardy, which will see Star Wars: Episode VIII and Star Wars: Episode IX released in that time, along with at least two spin-offs still to be written by Lawrence Kasdan and Simon Kinberg, that will be released in-between the sequel trilogy.

Still, yet another insider has stepped forward, saying that this is all being stirred up to cause drama, and that there are no problems with the creative side of the movie at all.

"It's nothing out of the ordinary. Almost every big movie changes writers at some point. There's no drama here."

Where do you stand on this? Do you think LucasFilm should hold out until 2016 to ensure a good movie? Or is J.J. Abrams just going to screw it all up anyway, no matter how much time he is allowed?

Star Wars: Episode VII comes to theaters December 18th, 2015 and stars John Boyega, Daisy Ridley, Carrie Fisher, Harrison Ford, Mark Hamill, Adam Driver, Domhnall Gleeson, Lupita Nyong'o. The film is directed by J.J. Abrams.



Sources: THR

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Comments (42)

  1. undeadslayer4

    @ghostman the hobbit doesnt count as fall cause it was released in December

    11 months agoby @undeadslayer4Flag

  2. undeadslayer4

    @ghostman the hobbit doesnt count as fall cause it was released in December

    11 months agoby @undeadslayer4Flag

  3. undeadslayer4

    @ghostman the hobbit doesnt count as fall cause it was released in December

    11 months agoby @undeadslayer4Flag

  4. undeadslayer4

    @brady1138 there is a difference between star wars and star trek are they that stupid this is the second time theyve did this

    11 months agoby @undeadslayer4Flag

  5. undeadslayer4

    @ghostman the hobbit doesnt count as fall cause it was released in December

    11 months agoby @undeadslayer4Flag

  6. undeadslayer4

    @brady1138 there is a difference between star wars and star trek are they that stupid this is the second time theyve did this

    11 months agoby @undeadslayer4Flag

  7. LuxoIII

    "Despite its lack of intelligence in presenting plausible science fact"

    Um...that's Star Trek you're talking about. Trek NEVER boasted scientific accuracy, because, well, it's set millions of light years away from Earth, thousands of planets strangely featuring humans, creatures with mental powers, teleportation, warp speed, singing plants, Amish planets, genetically altered overlords, etc. etc. etc.

    11 months agoby @brady1138Flag

  8. Writer220

    @brady1138 eh, but it isn't right.

    11 months agoby @writer220Flag

  9. LuxoIII

    @writer220 I don't think it's this site. People just tend to spread BS because they'll do anything to start some big rumor, but news sites pick it up because it gets people clicking on their articles. Everyone does it.

    11 months agoby @brady1138Flag

  10. CelluloidDreams

    ....BTW...the poster is cute!.

    11 months agoby @2movieguysFlag

  11. CelluloidDreams

    All about money $$!!!

    11 months agoby @2movieguysFlag

  12. Michael Kolesik

    Dear movieweb, check your freakin' sources. No one considers Into Darkness the "worst of the franchise" in Star Trek. That award goes to a toss-up between The Final Frontier and Insurrection. Most people will agree on that. Seriously, Jesus Christ, try some editing before you publish.

    11 months agoby @Michael-KolesikFlag

  13. The Real Goku

    @writer220 I don't think JJ ever said that. I think the most they've done is had actors do screen tests. That's about it

    11 months agoby @therealGokuFlag

  14. QuintsSharkShop

    Wait, since when has the new Star Trek been considered the worst in the series? Didn't anyone see The Final Frontier, or Insurrection?

    11 months agoby @QuintsSharkShopFlag

  15. Writer220

    @brady1138 I think your right, J.J does like to misdirect fans because the last I heard they have filmed a few shots. Something MW doesn't know and now does.

    with the lies and rumors this site does I'm starting to get sick and tired of hearing fake news.

    11 months agoby @writer220Flag

  16. ed_wood

    It's been nothing but rumors and drama since this movie was announced. I'm just going to believe official statements and wait for a good Star Wars movie.

    11 months agoby @ed-woodFlag

  17. Keith Carnes

    I'll I care about is a great return to the Star Wars universe. Sure 2015 would be better than 2016, but it's only a year delay if it happens. As long as the movie is amazing, I'll be okay waiting an extra year.

    11 months agoby @Keith-CarnesFlag

  18. LuxoIII

    @writer220 But bear in mind they were writing it a whole year before the film was even announced, plus all this time since the announcement. Plus, they already have a production crew in place. And I've got a feeling they're further along in the cast than they're leading on. It sounds like Ford, Fisher, and Hamill are already lined up to return (a lot of changing the subject in interviews, but no outright denials).

    11 months agoby @brady1138Flag

  19. Writer220

    @warriorathlete21 prep work, it takes a year to write a screen play, gather a large crew, test all the equipment, make sure wiring isn't damaged, building sets, location scouting and the list goes on.

    Did you know that Empire Sticks back 'Hoth' was one of the earth's poles.
    Filming takes 6 to 9 months, then there's 3 to 4 months worth of special effects.

    Judging by this announcement, they didn't say when it'll be finished and yet all we know it could be late fall.

    11 months agoby @writer220Flag

  20. Warriorathlete21

    They've had more than enough time to prep for this film. If they aren't ready to shoot by April in order to make a late 2015 release, then they'll never be ready. I mean seriously, what the hell have they been doing this whole time?

    11 months agoby @warriorathlete21Flag

  21. ObiWanShinobi

    They had a year. A FULL 365 days. Just leave the saga alone. The force is already restored.

    11 months agoby @ObiWanShinobiFlag

  22. thedude-abides

    @ghostman I really have no idea. I don't know what their projected time frame is on that, but I would expect nothing less than an endless barrage of films once the first one gets underway. Once they get the ball rolling, I wouldn't be surprised to see two or even three Star Wars films coming out every year, the way CBMs are now.

    11 months agoby @thedude-abidesFlag

  23. Bawnian©-Dexeus

    @gandoff@ghostman Let's not forget the name of the movie is "Star Wars". You can release it any time of the year and it will make it's quota. This is also taking into consideration how long the franchise has been off the big screen and the hope of the promised sequels, the cartoon series keeping it alive, novels, graphic novels, etc. It will do fine either in spring, summer or fall.

    11 months agoby @bawnian-dexeusFlag

  24. Ghostman

    @gandoff That's different. Some Harry Potter movies released in the Fall (1,2,4, and 7.1) were more suitable for the Fall. It's weird, I know. Same goes for The LOTR/Hobbit films, those being released in the Fall mean they have more "breathing" room since it is not crammed with Summer releases. To me, having a Star Wars movie come out in the Fall/Winter season just feels weird to me for it is a Summer event type of film series.

    @a7sus4@gandoff As for Into Darkness, it is true, many fans (mostly diehards) HATED this movie. I enjoyed the film, but like the 2009 movie better in my opinion.

    @thedude-abides If they're already having problems with Episode VII, how can Disney stay on schedule with releasing the spin-offs in time also?

    @bawnian-dexeus Thank you.

    11 months agoby @ghostmanFlag

  25. artkid04

    k, disney, this is going to bomb if you rush it, don't screw this up!!

    11 months agoby @artkid04Flag

  26. Writer220

    The screen play that's all ready done should be made, then J.J's and this other writer can relax a little bit. It just makes more sense so by the time the second screen play is done, they would be in the middle or near the end of the first film.
    the last two hobbit films are done, it's just the way it was executed.
    Why can't they do it like that?
    This Bob seems not to get it, you don't tell an artist what to paint.
    I do have faith in this film as Into Darkness is one of my favorite films.

    11 months agoby @writer220Flag

  27. A7sus4

    1. It's impossible to make a Star Wars movie worse than any of the prequels. 2. I've never heard anyone refer to Into Darkness as the worst Star Trek in the franchise.

    11 months agoby @a7sus4Flag

  28. Sean

    Yeah, Disney demands a 2015 theatrical release date, yet this new Star Wars movie may never happen.

    11 months agoby @themoviefanaticFlag

  29. Gandoff

    @bawnian-dexeus I would think they would want a summer release to make the "block busters" list. But with movies like Hobbie, LOTR's, and even HP making released for Nov and Dec's and ALL making huge money. Christmas would be a nice little fit.

    11 months agoby @gandoffFlag