And what else in the Star Wars universe is he working on?
Simon Kinberg is a busy man. Not only is he working on the new Disney-era of the Star Wars franchise, he’s also helping oversee Fantastic Four and X-Men over at Fox. However, aside from the fact that he made some contributions to Star Wars: Rebels (including writing the pilot), and working on an unknown Anthology film, we don’t know exactly how he fits into the hierarchy topped with Kathleen Kennedy.
In a recent interview with Entertainment Weekly, Kinberg has shed some light on his experiences which also give us an insight on how the new films (and, by extension, the universe) is being developed.
So, what is it like for Simon Kinberg?
Kinberg is officially listed as a consultant, but it appears he is part of what seems to be a larger writer’s room (which also held Michael Arndt and Lawrence Kasdan) that has had sessions at Skywalker Ranch:
“Like a TV writers room, we spent a week with a whiteboard and some pens and were in a conference room all day talking about [movies] VII, VIII, and IX… But it’s a whiteboard covered in our notes. We had a sense of what we each wanted to write. It was the most magical time because we were writing Star Wars movies. Then we would go back to the inn at Skywalker and have dinner and drink a little bit and Larry would tell me and Michael stories about the moment in his life where he wrote Raiders of the Lost Ark, The Empire Strikes Back, The Big Chill, Body Heat all in the span of, I think, five years. So we just had this crazy, magical time together.”
Who are Michael Arndt and Lawrence Kasdan?
Michael Arndt is the Oscar winning writer of Little Miss Sunshine and Toy Story 3. He also worked on several screenplays including The Hunger Games: Catching Fire. If you’ve ever been to the Austin Film Festival, you may remember he gives a fantastic lecture every year about the structure of the hero’s narrative in film and even gives a breakdown of A New Hope. He worked on the first iteration of Episode VII before J.J. Abrams and Kasdan took over scripting duties.
Lawrence Kasdan hopefully needs no introduction, having been the man who worked on the screenplays of Raiders of the Lost Ark, The Empire Strikes Back, and Return of the Jedi among many other classics.
So, what does this writer’s room means for Star Wars?
First, let’s not kid ourselves: this is some serious talent Lucasfilm has recruited. The fact that they’re using a TV style writer’s room (which seems to becoming the norm for mega franchises) is also positive, as it allows different viewpoints to tackle story problems and come up with the strongest narratives possible rather than a single writer working in a vacuum.
So, it seems Kinberg is simply one of the writers in the room… it just happens that that it’s the coolest writers room ever.