“Given the time frame and the process … working with Larry would get us where we needed to be and when”
Confronted with his screenwriter switcheroo on “Star Wars: Episode VII,” J.J. Abrams subtly waved his hand, spoke a few reassuring words and convinced the media Storm Troopers to move along.
“Working with Larry Kasdan, especially on a ‘Star Wars’ movie, is sort of unbeatable,” Abrams said on a Thursday conference call that was mostly about his upcoming Fox sci-fi drama “Almost Human.” “It became clear that given the time frame and the process … that working with Larry in this was would get us where we needed to be and when we needed to be.”
Translation: “These aren't the droids you're looking for.”
The notoriously cryptic Abrams’ Jedi mind trick came in response to a request that he clear up the recent screenwriter swap — from Michael Arndt to Lawrence Kasdan, the now 64-year-old screenwriter who penned “The Empire Strikes Back,” the consensus best installment of the Star Wars movies.
None of this means J.J. is ready to throw Arndt into the Sarlacc pit.
“That doesn’t preclude working with Michael again in the future at all and I couldn’t say enough good things about him,” Abrams added. “He's obviously one of the smartest guys and one of the best writers around.”
“Almost Human” now debuts Sunday Nov. 17 at 8 p.m., following the afternoon football game. A second episode will make its regular time slot debut the following night, also at 8.