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    Star Wars 7 & Beyond: Empire, Jedi Writer Lawrence Kasdan Onboard for Sequel in New Trilogy

    Star Wars, Lawrence Kasdan, Simon Kinberg M. Phillips/WireImage, Stephen Lovekin/Getty Images, LucasFilm

    Disney doesn't appear too anxious to mess with a formula that works.

    After securing Oscar winner Michael Arndt to pen Star Wars 7, the first addition to George Lucas' iconic franchise that will be released under new management, the Mouse House has reportedly hired Lawrence Kasdan and Simon Kinberg to pen the two sequels already planned for later in the decade.

    Well, Kasdan did a pretty bang-up job with The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi, so...

    Brad Bird not directing Star Wars 7—but he'll certainly watch it

    Nice work, Disney!

    Deadline.com first reported that the pair were in talks, one to pen Episode VIII, the other to write Episode IX, and The Hollywood Reporter is saying that the deal is in place.

    Kasden and Kinsberg, whose credits include Sherlock Holmes and Mr. & Mrs. Smith, would also serve as producers along with Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy, who was co-chair of the Bay Area-based production house before Lucas sold it to Disney for $4.05 billion.

    But they've got a little time to brainstorm, unless Disney wants these films shot Peter Jackson-style (you know, all at once): Arndt's chapter isn't due out until 2015 and it will be at least two more years before the as-yet mythological eighth Star Wars film unspools.

    UPDATE: THR later reported that Kasdan and Kinberg will not necessarily be writing Star Wars sequels, per se, but rather will work on scripts for what could be spinoff films (like how The Avengers and Iron Man are connected) in the Lucas-created universe if not sequential additions to the franchise. 

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