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J.J. Abrams and Lawrence Kasdan will take over screenwriting duties on Episode VII

J.J. Abrams will have even more creative control over Star Wars: Episode VII than we had anticipated, with the director set to pick up screenwriting duties on the project.

The script had previously been worked on for about a year by Michael Arndt, but an official press release has announced Abrams will now relieve him of his duties, in tandem with producer Lawrence Kasdan.

“I am very excited about the story we have in place and thrilled to have Larry and J.J. working on the script,” said Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy. “There are very few people who fundamentally understand the way a Star Wars story works like Larry.

“J.J. of course is an incredible storyteller in his own right. Michael Arndt has done a terrific job bringing us to this point and we have an amazing filmmaking and design team in place already prepping for production.”

Other crew members named in the press release include director of photography Dan Mindel ( Mission: Impossible III , Star Trek Into Darkness ), special effects supervisor Chris Corbould (the Daniel Craig Bond films, Christopher Nolan's Dark Knight trilogy, Inception ) and legendary sound designer (and Star Wars staple) Ben Burtt.

With pre-production already well underway, filming is set to begin on the project in spring 2014, with an 'expected' cinema release still pencilled in for 2015.

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