Han Solo Spinoff Movie Starts Filming in January 2017. Lawrence Kasdan Talks Star Wars and More!
Lawrence Kasdan received the first AJFF Icon Award for Contributions to the Cinematic Arts. During a Q&A event the legendary writer and director discussed his career and the movie industry in general. Kasdan also spoke about his involvement with the other Star Wars movies, and the new Han Solo spinoff movie, revealing that filming starts in January for a May 2018 release. Read on for more.
Lawrence Kasdan won the first AJFF Icon Award on May 22, the award honors exemplary artists who have upheld the tradition of artistic excellence in film, informed directly or indirectly by a Jewish subject or sensibility, and who inspire preeminence in filmmaking worldwide. The screenwriter, director, producer and four-time Oscar nominee, accepted the award at a gala at the Woodruff Arts Center’s Rich Auditorium.
He has written/co-written some of the most successful pictures in film history that include Raiders of the Lost Ark, The Bodyguard, Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi, Body Heat and most recently Star Wars: The Force Awakens —which took in over 2 billion at the box office. Recently, Kasdan worked with his son, Jon, on the screenplay for forthcoming 2018 spin-off film that focuses on a young Han Solo.
The gala event also included a conversation with members of the media, including Atlanta Business Chronicle Senior Online Editor Jacques Couret, who sat down with the screenwriting legend to discuss his career, the film industry, current project and his involvement in the new Han Solo film.
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.
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!
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.
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: Working with your family, is that more special, more fulfilling for you?
Lawrence Kasdan: It’s been great. First I worked with my brother, then I worked with my wife and then now my son. Of course, every collaboration is challenging in a way. But it has been very satisfying.
Kasdan also talked about many other interesting topics. For the full interview go to Bizjournals.com
Here’s a video with the Star Wars part, thanks to Phillip A. Simmons: