Since word first broke of Disney's $4.05 billion acquisition of Lucasfilm, the estimated release date for the forthcoming Star Wars: Episode VII has been 2015 — but according to Lucasfilm co-chair Kathleen Kennedy that may not be set in stone. The Hollywood Reporter has an extensive profile on Kennedy, covering her long-standing collaboration with Steven Spielberg and including how she convinced director J.J. Abrams to take the Episode VII job. She describes a clandestine meeting with the filmmaker and the writers on the project last December. According to Kennedy, Abrams was "flipping out" when he learned that Toy Story 3 scribe Michael Arndt and The Empire Strikes Back screenwriter Lawrence Kasdan were involved.
When pressed on the release date, however, Kennedy reportedly didn't hew to the 2015 party line. "Our goal is to move as quickly as we can, and we'll see what happens," she's quoted as saying. "The timetable we care about is getting the story."
Abrams, of course, is still putting the finishing touches on Star Trek Into Darkness. Disney — and Kennedy — will only have one shot to make a first impression with the new Star Wars trilogy, and the fact that Kennedy is already saying publicly that the focus is on story rather than release dates should come as a very good sign for fans worried about the new films. Be sure to check out the full profile at The Hollywood Reporter for a look at the producer behind some of the most influential movies of the last 30 years.