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New Report Points To Divisions Between Disney And LFL Execs Over Episode VII Release Date

Posted by Eric on October 31, 2013 at 02:22 PM CST

The Hollywood Reporter brings us an inside look at a dispute over the release time frame of Star Wars Episode VII. According to THR, the dispute pits Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy against Disney CEO Bob Iger:

According to those close to the project, producer Kathleen Kennedy and most of the film's creative team have asked Disney to push the release to 2016, but studio CEO Robert Iger is adamant that Episode VII -- perhaps the franchise's most anticipated installment since 1999's The Phantom Menace -- not budge.
We know that the script for Episode VII is under new management following Michael Arndt's departure from the project, but according to THR's story, "several insiders say isn't close to ready."

The report also describes Abrams as breaking with Kennedy and endorsing Iger's push to get the film out in 2015. "Unlike Kennedy, Abrams is said to be more in sync with Iger's desire to meet the 2015 release target -- which allows zero margin for error -- at all costs."

Only recently did we begin hearing rumblings about the film slipping to 2016. Previously, the argument had been over whether Episode VII would be released in the summer or winter of 2015. That aspect, at least, is not in question in Disney's upper echelons. THR notes that "Iger has crafted a Star Wars game plan that hinges on Episode VII hitting the big screen that summer."

Click here to read THR's full report.

Even if THR's sources are right about the tension surrounding Episode VII, this is certainly nothing new as far as film production woes are concerned. And as The Huffington Post's Mike Ryan points out, The Empire Strikes Back wasn't a picnic to make either. While Ryan does take a paragraph to pile on the obligatory Prequel hate, he also makes some good points about the chaos that often accompanies moviemaking. "Just because [Episode VII is] under a strict deadline and the production is rife with tension," Ryan writes, "that doesn't mean that we're not going to get a great movie."

Related Stories:

Lucasfilm Sets December Release Date For Star Wars Episode VII
Disney Retail Employee Says Episode VII Will Be Released In 'Late 2015'
Kasdan, Abrams Take On Star Wars Episode VII Screenwriting Duties

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