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“Star Wars Episode VII” And The Rule Of Three Screenwriters


In what is not good news to us Star Wars fans, Michael Arndt is no longer writing Star Wars Episode VII. Arndt, who won an Oscar for his script for Little Miss Sunshine, was brought on board to write the Star Wars sequels earlier this year after J.J. Abrams was hired to direct. The great Lawrence Kasdan, who wrote The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi, was consulting on the script and will now take over writing it along with director Abrams. Well, that’s good right? Empire and Jedi were the best ones of the series and Kasdan wrote the good Indiana Jones movies. Perhaps…perhaps. But we run into a trouble when we start adding writers. I call it the Rule of Three Screenwriters.

One screenwriter is great as it allows for a singular vision. Two is also fine as a good writing team that works well together can bring different perspectives to a script. But, much like in a threesome, when you add a third screenwriter someone usually gets left out of in the cold. It has worked, of course, but you are running into danger. No matter what Hollywood focus groups tell you, you can not create art with a committee. You can, however, make a huge mess. There is such a thing as too many cooks in the kitchen and a lot of times when you bring in outside people they don’t know what the original writer had in his head or where he was going with things. A lot of writers do script doctoring where they come in and punch up a script. That to me is different than being one of the main writers. With punch-up you are helping the structure and patching holes in the script. Rarely adding new ideas or storylines. And if there are more than three screenwriters, run. Don’t pay for it. It will be a piece of crap in 99% of the cases.

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