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Star Wars Episode VII release date could be pushed back to 2016

Producer Kathleen Kennedy has asked for the release to be postponed following the exit of screenwriter Michael Arndt

The release date of Star Wars: Episode VII could be pushed back to 2016, according to insiders.

The highly anticipated film, which will be the first in the franchise since 2005, was due to be released in the summer of 2015 alongside Hollywood blockbusters Avengers: Age of Ultron, the final Hunger Games and the Superman-Batman film.

But Kathleen Kennedy, who is producing the film, has asked Disney to delay the release to 2016, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

However, Robert Iger, CEO of Disney, is said to be adamant that Episode VII will be released in the summer of 2015.

New scriptwriters, including director JJ Abrams and Little Miss Sunshine’s Lawrence Kasdan, were drafted in last week after writer Michael Arndt left the project.

Iger is reported to have created “enormous pressure” on all those involved to deliver the project on time.

Abrams is also said to be in favour of a 2015 release.

Disney has announced plans to release Star Wars VII, VIII and IX over a six-year period, with at least two spin-offs planned in between