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Lucasfilm and Disney struggle over 2015 'Star Wars' release date

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Star Wars logo (STOCK)
Star Wars logo (STOCK)

J.J. Abrams' new Star Wars trilogy has been widely anticipated among fans, but apparently no one is more eager for the film to hit screens than Disney. After the departure of screenwriter Michael Arndt last week, The Hollywood Reporter is reporting that the Episode VII script isn't close to ready, and much of the creative team has asked to push the release date to 2016 to accommodate the change. (The film was also a no-show at Disney's recent D23 conference.) But despite the widespread pleas, Disney has held fast to the Summer 2015 release date, a move that frustrated the creative team and many say leaves "zero margin for error" in the development of the film.

Part of Disney's reluctance stems from the intricate plans for the new series, which will encompass the three central films and at least two spinoffs, all released over a period of six years. Delaying the first film could send a cascade of delays through the entire project, endangering cast commitments and giving future projects even less time to develop. Still, the dwindling time frame puts even more pressure on Abrams, who now has just over a year and a half to bring his vision of Star Wars to the screen.