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Lawrence Kasdan (born January 14, 1949, in Miami, Florida) is an American movie producer, director and screenwriter. He co-wrote The Empire Strikes Back, Return of the Jedi, The Force Awakens, and Solo: A Star Wars Story. He also wrote Lucasfilm's Raiders of the Lost Ark

Outside of his work for Lucasfilm, Kasdan is known for both writing and directing his films, which have ranged from Westerns to romantic comedies to thought-provoking dramas. He has received four Academy Award nominations, for screenplays to The Big Chill, Grand Canyon, and The Accidental Tourist, for which he also earned a directing nod.

Biography[edit | edit source]

Raised in Morgantown, West Virginia, where he graduated from Morgantown High School in 1966, he went on to attend the University of Michigan as an education major.

After working as a freelance advertising copywriter, Kasdan broke into the film business in the mid-1970s when he sold his script for The Bodyguard to Warner Bros. as a vehicle for Diana Ross. The script became stuck in "development hell" and became one of several scripts successively called "the best un-made film in Hollywood" (It was eventually produced as a 1992 film starring Whitney Houston and Kevin Costner.) In 1979, George Lucas commissioned Kasdan, who was in midst of revising his own Raiders of the Lost Ark script for both him and Steven Spielberg, to complete the screenplay for The Empire Strikes Back after the death of Leigh Brackett. Lucas had yet to even read Kasdan's first draft of Raiders. Kasdan made his directing debut with Body Heat. with Lucas as an uncredited executive producer. Kasdan then assisted Lucas in writing the script for Return of the Jedi.

Reports surfaced on November 20, 2012 that Kasdan, along with screenwriter Simon Kinberg, would be co-producing all three films of the upcoming Star Wars sequel trilogy, and would share writing responsibilities with Kinberg on Star Wars Episodes VIII and IX.[3] Subsequent reports, citing insider confirmation, suggested that Kasdan and Kinberg would indeed be writing Star Wars projects, just not necessarily Episodes VIII and IX.[4] StarWars.com confirmed on January 25, 2013 that Kasdan and Kinberg would serve as project consultants on Star Wars: Episode VII The Force Awakens, which was released in 2015.[1] On February 5, 2013, Disney confirmed that the two were working on new standalone films, not Episodes VIII and IX as reported two and a half months earlier.[2]

Kasdan later stated that he felt that Lucasfilm "blew it" in regards to Solo: A Star Wars Story. Furthermore, following the film's flop, the studio repeatedly tried to woo him back, even sending a messenger with a new Star Wars script, but he was not interested.[5]

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