Director JJ Abrams and longtime Lucas film collaborator Lawrence Kasdan are now handling script duties for the franchise's newest installment, the Hollywood Reporter said.
"I am very excited about the story we have in place and thrilled to have Larry and JJ working on the script," Kathleen Kennedy, Lucasfilm president, said. "There are very few people who fundamentally understand the way a Star Wars story works like Larry, and it is nothing short of incredible to have him even more deeply involved in its return to the big screen. JJ of course is an incredible storyteller in his own right. Michael Arndt has done a terrific job bringing us to this point and we have an amazing filmmaking and design team in place already prepping for production," she added. Arndt has been working on Star Wars even before Disney announced it was buying Lucasfilm in October 2012, writing a 40- to 50-page treatment for Episode VII. Then in late 2012, Arndt was formally hired to write the screenplay. While George Lucas is considered the author of the stories for the Star Wars movies, the screenplays for both The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi were written with collaborators.