“Star Wars: Episode VII” rumors - a disturbance in the Force?

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J.J. Abrams

Lucasfilm and Disney executives are at odds about when “Star Wars: Episode VII” should be released, according to a story in the Nov. 8 edition of the Hollywood Reporter which is excerpted online today at thr.com.

In fact, there may even be a break within the Lucasfilm team, with Director J.J. Abrams favoring Disney CEO Bob Iger’s commitment to keeping the film on the 2015 schedule, according to the story.

This is a tight deadline by anyone’s estimation, so Producer Kathleen Kennedy sought a delay to 2016 when the recent screenwriter change was announced on Oct. 24, according to the story. That was when Michael Arndt (“LIttle Miss Sunshine”) left and Abrams and Lawrence Kasdan, who wrote “The Empire Strikes Back,” took on finishing the script.

But who knows? Kennedy may have also sought a delay because of the glut of other high-profile releases set for 2015, including Marvel’s “Avengers” sequel, the final “Hunger Games” movie and the Superman/Batman film. Whatever the reason, Disney wants to stick with 2015.

Everything from the casting decisions to the locations has been the source of wild speculation since the Disney/Lucasfilm collaboration was announced a year ago. But after my Oct. 21 post including merchandising dates for Spring/Summer 2015, it seems unlikely the date would move now, especially for a more marketing-minded company like Disney. And J.J. Abrams has other things to do, too. In the post-Lucas world, “Star Wars” is not anyone’s only job.

Stay tuned.

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