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Austin Film Fest: Lawrence Kasdan on sequels, Solo, and why he's done with Star Wars
"It's been very good to me, but I don't want to do it anymore."
That was the initial reply Lawrence Kasdan gave Lucasfilm boss Kathleen Kennedy years ago when she approached him about being involved in a whole new set of Star Wars films before the sale to Disney had been announced. During a panel discussion at the Austin Film Festival, Kasdan, who co-wrote The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi, admitted that back then he just wasn't terribly interested in returning to the space opera.
However, after he was convinced to take a meeting with George Lucas, he noticed that there was a spinoff project centered on Han Solo, who happens to be the filmmaker's favorite character. But once he agreed to take on the script for Solo: A Star Wars Story, he kept getting roped into the development of The Force Awakens, eventually earning him another co-writing credit.
While none of that was planned, Kasdan described it as "a very good experience," and agreed to stick around and write Solo if his son, Jonathan, could be involved as well.
"Then the studio blew it," Kasdan told the gathered audience, seemingly addressing the film's meager box-office showing, before adding, "but that's not unusual."
Despite how well Solo performed, Kasdan admitted he simply wanted to get back to directing, which has always been his true passion. However, Lucasfilm kept hoping he'd stay involved, so much so that they sent a messenger to his house to try and hand-deliver the script to him.
"I never saw this poor messenger they sent," Kasdan told the crowd. "I said, 'I can't take it.' I didn't want to sit down and read someone else's Star Wars movie. I'm just not interested in Star Wars."
He later added: "Don't think for a second I don't know how lucky I am that they're sending a Star Wars script to my door and I can say, 'No, I won't accept it.' You have to be in a very privileged situation to do that, and I don't ever take that for granted."
While he might be done with stories set in a galaxy far, far away, when asked if he'd consider tackling a film set in the MCU, Kasdan simply replied that he already has the "perfect relationship with Marvel, in that I enjoy going to their movies."
As far as future projects, Kasdan will co-write and direct the upcoming mob drama November Road. He and his wife, Meg, also co-directed a documentary chronicling the last days of a beloved diner in West Hollywood called Last Week at Ed's, which had its world premiere at the Austin Film Festival this year.