Writer/producer Simon Kinberg has been involved with a lot of huge properties in very integral ways recently. After writing and producing X-Men: Days of Future Past, he resumed the same duties for X-Men: Apocalypse while also helping guide Fantastic Four as writer/producer and essentially overseeing the development of Fox’s own inter-connected Marvel universe. And in addition to that, he helped create, write, and produce the swell animated series Star Wars Rebels for Disney XD—the first piece of released Star Wars content in the Kathleen Kennedy Lucasfilm era. But Kinberg’s involvement with Lucasfilm went beyond the animated series, as we also knew that he was involved in one of the studio’s upcoming Star Wars Anthology films…in some capacity.
Kinberg has thus far remained tight-lipped about his specific involvement in the Star Wars universe, but in a new interview with EW, he opened up by revealing that he, along with original Star Wars: Episode VII writer Michael Arndt and co-writer Lawrence Kasdan, helped break the stories for the new trilogy and Anthology films during a retreat at Skywalker Ranch:
“Like a TV writers room, we spent a week with a whiteboard and some pens and were in a conference room all day talking about [movies] VII, VIII, and IX. But it’s a whiteboard covered in our notes. We had a sense of what we each wanted to write. It was the most magical time because we were writing Star Wars movies. Then we would go back to the inn at Skywalker and have dinner and drink a little bit and Larry would tell me and Michael stories about the moment in his life where he wrote Raiders of the Lost Ark, The Empire Strikes Back, The Big Chill, Body Heat all in the span of, I think, five years. So we just had this crazy, magical time together.”
It’s unclear exactly when this retreat took place, but seeing as how Arndt was replaced as Episode VII screenwriter in 2013, it was probably sometime before then. However, Kinberg went on to reveal that he had a hand in the subsequent development of J.J. Abrams’ Star Wars: The Force Awakens:
“I’m like a friend of the court. I consult on the movies. I worked on VII: helped break the story, read scripts, drafts at certain points, and gave my thoughts whatever they were worth.”
So there we have it. In addition to somewhat overseeing all of Fox’s Marvel superhero movies, Kinberg is also a trusted consultant on the new Star Wars universe. Moreover, he’s still penning his own Star Wars Anthology film that was originally going to be directed by Josh Trank. When does this guy sleep?
Filmmaker Rian Johnson is currently prepping Star Wars: Episode VIII, which he wrote, and Gareth Edwards just began production on the first anthology film, Star Wars Anthology: Rogue One. Directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller were recently set to direct the second anthology picture, revolving around young Han Solo, but Lucasfilm has yet to announce a director for Star Wars: Episode IX or Kinberg’s anthology picture.