Monday, May 30, 2016

Lawrence Kasdan On Han Solo Project and Sequel Trilogy

By Ciaran Duggan,

Last week revered film writer Lawrence Kasdan received the 'First Icon Award' for 'Contributions to the Cinematic Arts' at the Atlanta Jewish Film Festival on May 22. After receiving the award, Kasdan answered some interesting questions about the Han Solo Anthology film and the Sequel Trilogy.

The 'First Icon Award' is accorded to artists who have showcased artistic excellence in film and inspired pre-eminence in film-making on a global scale. Undoubtedly Kasdan represents as a credible candidate for receiving the award. Kasdan's most famous contributions to the movie industry have included co-authorship of the The Empire Strikes Back, Return of the Jedi & The Raiders of the Lost Ark

In his Q&A session after the award ceremony, Kasdan discussed his excitement for the Han Solo anthology film, disclosed the release date for the film and also announced the month and year in which production for the new Han Solo movie would commence. 

Q: What can you tell us about the Han Solo project?
Lawrence Kasdan: Young Han! (Laughs).
Q: For the fans, generally speaking, should they be excited?
Lawrence Kasdan: Oh, I think so! You know, Chris Miller and Phil Lord are going to direct it. They’re great, funny and imaginative and we’ve had a great time together. My son [Jon] and I wrote the script and Chris and Phil are working on it and they’re about to move to London to start shooting in January. And it should be fun.
Q: 2018 is the release date?
Lawrence Kasdan: Yes. They’re actually scheduled for May. The [other Star Wars films] are falling on Christmas -- Rogue One and Episode 9. Han will come before Episode 9.

Kasdan then went on to discuss his role in the upcoming Star Wars Sequel Films: Episode VIII and Episode IX. 

Q: Are you aware of the complete story arc of the new trilogy? Are you involved with that too?
Lawrence Kasdan: (Laughs) I have a little information!
Q: Are you helping steer that story?
Lawrence Kasdan: [Star Wars Episode 8 Director] Rian [Johnson] is a friend of mine. I’m getting to know Colin Trevorrow, who is going to direct Episode 9, so I feel very involved with it.
Q: Did you think there would be a Star Wars Episode 9 when you were doing Episode 2/5?
Lawrence Kasdan: By the time I came on for 2... you know, it was already the biggest picture in the world, so it wasn’t a shock that they were going to do more. But yeah, it’s amazing... that was 40 years ago!

His final remarks about the 'Star Wars' franchise centered around his appointment as co-writer in The Force Awakens.

Q: The Star Wars movies that you had your hands on seem to have more emotional depth and they really resonate. We’ve all watched them thousands of times and it seems like Han Solo really shines in the ones that you’ve got your hands on.
Lawrence Kasdan: Well, I love Han.
Q: Is he what brings you back?
Lawrence Kasdan: Well yeah, I was originally going to just write Han, but I had contracted to be in the story group on Episode 7, which became "The Force Awakens". And then there were problems. A wonderful writer, Michael Arndt, just couldn't do the time pressure, and people were being hired in England and it was enormous pressure and he stepped away. We stayed in contact and he's a lovely man, then J.J. [Abrams] and I took over, and now I found myself instead just doing Han and consulting on "Force Awakens," we were actually writing Episode 7 together and it happened very fast.

Some interesting reveals from Kasdan. I find it particularly fascinating how closely connected he has become with all of the major Star Wars movie projects, from anthology movies to the Sequel films. Arguably, Kasdan is the most experienced expert on the Star Wars films that is currently working for Disney. 

Will his involvement help Disney continue to expand the Star Wars film franchise and make amazing Star Wars movies? Or are there certain caveats attached to his ongoing presence? Do fans give too much credit to Kasdan's involvement in the films? 

Leave us your thoughts in the comment section below.

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