Kasdan and Kinberg to Write ‘Star Wars’ Episodes 8 and 9, Fox Axes ‘ID4 3D’ and HBO preps ‘The Missionary’

Star Wars: Episode VIII and IX1.) With Michael Arndt (Toy Story 3) currently writing Star Wars: Episode VII, Disney seems to have already found the screenwriters for its sequels. Lawrence Kasdan and Simon Kinberg have reportedly closed deals to write Episode VIII and Episode IX, either together or separately — the exact division of work is yet to be determined. They will also produce the films.

Kasdan, as you might recall, is a Star Wars veteran, co-writing both The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi. Kinberg has worked on scripts for Sherlock Holmes and X-Men: Days of Future Past. [THR]

2.) I know this is hardly news since a new Paranormal Activity movie hitting theaters in October is more or less expected, but Paranormal Activity 5 will be released on October 25, 2013.

3.) 20th Century Fox has axed their plans to release Independence Day 3D. They offered no reasoning for the cancellation or update on what that means for the long-gestating two-part sequel ID Forever.

4.) I thought I’d pass along this trailer for Mobius, if only because I was floored at how much it borrows from the Inception trailer. The film itself seems to have little to nothing else in common with Inception, as French writer/director Eric Rochant‘s film is a thriller that blends post-Cold War spies and high-stakes criminal activity. It stars Jean Dujardin, Cecile De France and Tim Roth and will be released in France in February, though I don’t believe it has U.S. distribution at this time.

Oh, and if any of you can figure out exactly what Buddy Garrity is trying to say about the “Mobius strip” at the beginning of the trailer, I’d be delighted. He acts like he’s making some profound statement, but it just sounds like common sense to me.

5.) This next bit of news is a few days old, but hey, pickings are pretty slim with the holiday approaching. Benjamin Walker (Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter) and Jesse Plemons (Battleship, “Friday Night Lights”) will star in the HBO Cold War spy drama pilot “The Missionary.”

Walker’s character is a young American missionary who gets caught up in Cold War intrigue while helping a young woman escape East Berlin. Plemons will play a young Coca-Cola executive who helps smuggle defectors out of the Eastern Bloc. Mark Wahlberg‘s boy Baltasar Kormakur (Contraband) will direct for the “Boardwalk Empire” producing team of Wahlberg and Stephen Levinson. Sounds to me like another winner for HBO. How say you? [Deadline]

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