'Toy Story 3' & 'Catching Fire' Writer Tapped for 'Star Wars: Episode VII'

November 8, 2012
Source: Vulture

Star Wars

Well, there you have it. This is a big scoop we've been sitting on for a few days, waiting to get double confirmation instead of running it as a wild rumor, and now Vulture has put the word out. Michael Arndt, the Oscar-winning writer behind Toy Story 3, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire and Little Miss Sunshine has been tapped by Disney and Lucasfilm to script Star Wars: Episode VII. The screenwriter has turned in a 40-to-50 page treatment for the long-anticipated sequel, but he might not be the only writer attached to the project by the time the film goes in front of cameras (but no other names have surfaced yet). Read on!

Arndt is a solid choice, even if his experience isn't expansive. He's one of the hottest screenwriters in town, having penned The Hunger Games sequel and the forthcoming sci-fi film Oblivion with Tom Cruise in the lead and Tron Legacy director Joseph Kosinski at the helm. And his love for Star Wars and screenwriting simultaneously has been observes as Vulture points out he has, "lectured extensively on the art of storytelling at numerous writers’ retreats, like the Hawaii Writers Conference in Maui and the Austin Film Festival." Apparently he uses Star Wars as an example to enlighten. One attendee at the Austin lecture noted in some comments online about Arndt's remarks:

"Arndt stated that if a writer could resolve the story's arcs (internal, external, philosophical) immediately after the Moment of Despair at the climax, he or she would deliver the Insanely Great Ending and put the audience in a euphoric state. The faster it could happen, the better. By [Arndt’s] reckoning, George Lucas hit those three marks at the climax of Star Wars within a space of 22 seconds."

Just goes to show you how near-perfect a film the original Star Wars was in 1977. We give George Lucas a hard time today, but he definitely deserves credit where credit is due. Anyway, it's said that the treatment will be handed out to some directors sometime soon and the unsurprising names of J.J. Abrams and Steven Spielberg are mentioned, and also Brad Bird, our favorite choice who just had a nice campaign video arrive online in his favor as well. This doesn't really mean anything yet since Disney is obviously going to try all the obvious big name directors first, but it's just a matter of having any of them bite. We've even heard Christopher Nolan has been approached, but that's all for now.

In addition, some news that Vulture heard that we hadn't mentions that Disney is very keen on bringing back a much older Luke Skywalker, Han Solo and Princess Leia for the sequel, but it's not clear how involved their roles would be to the new trilogy. No deals are in place yet, but we did just hear that Harrison Ford, Mark Hamill and Carrie Fisher would all be up for reprising their roles, should the time come. It's not clear if Arndt will write the full screenplay for Episode VII or if he's just the jumping off point for another writer, but the wheels are moving pretty quickly, and we'll try to keep you updated.

UPDATE: Deadline has word that Arndt's treatment is for the entire new trilogy and he will start writing the actual screenplay for Episode VII next year. That's pretty exciting. That means the whole story arc has been planned for Episodes VII, VIII and IX. Man, it's a great time to be a Star Wars fan again.

Find more posts: Development, Movie News, Star Wars



Good news. Now lock up Hamill, Ford and Fischer and I will automatically jizz in my pants. Han solo should have a son too. A son with Lea means he's got Skywalker blood and thus, has a strong bond with the force. He should then be seduced by the dark side and become the next sith Lord or his apprentice..... FUCK YEAAAAAAAAAAH!!!

TheRagingCajunq on Nov 8, 2012


Ah dude that's what happens in the novels, exactly as you said, Han and Leia have Twins, a boy and a girl, The boy, Jacen Solo, is a jedi who turns to the dark side and fights not only against his twin jedi knight sister but his cousin, Luke's son, Ben Skywalker.

Fidel Reyes on Nov 8, 2012


don't forget the third kid Anakin...until he died too. growing up with star wars nerds for a parents, i couldn't get away from those books...but i couldn't help but cry when they killed off Chewbacca.....

Jericho on Nov 8, 2012


Yeah, didn't Solo's son leave chewie. to die on a planet?

mooreworthy on Nov 9, 2012



si1ver on Nov 14, 2012



Ali Miller on Nov 8, 2012


It's amazing. For years, Episode 7-9 were just the biggest 'what-if' fantasies I could come up with...I would have never thought that I would be following day-to-day updates and progress on them getting made. This truly is a sort of dream time for this movie buff.

Chris Groves on Nov 8, 2012


Oh No! Worst news ever. Hunger games was cringe worthy. They could have had anyone, is it too much to ask for a grown up starwars? At least we know they will stink nice and early so we can tune out all three years of hype.

v8bart on Nov 8, 2012


He did not write The Hunger Games, he wrote Catching Fire which has not been released yet. Gary Ross, the person who wrote Sea biscuit, wrote The Hunger Games.

Matt Peloquin on Nov 8, 2012


I believe Disney will do SW Justice, and we need a good writer, at least this guy has experience.

Christopher Philip Cinquegrano on Nov 8, 2012


No matter what happens from here up until episode VII gets released in 2015, I am scared. Lucas ruined everything I loved about the old movies with the newly released bluray collection, he screwed up episode I, II, and III thanks to JarJar and Hayden. Now Disney is taking over and who knows what the hell might happen. Okay, yeah so they did great with Avengers, but Joss Whedon wrote and directed. I loved Toy Story 3 and Little Miss Sunshine, but that doesn't mean Arndt can write a Star Wars film I want to see. I've been following this since I got the news that Lucas LTD was bought by Disney and each day I pray that this new generation of movies won't be a disappointment.

Blkstar on Nov 8, 2012


Great scoop, Alex!

Jim on Nov 8, 2012


They should bring back Lawrence Kasdan. He wrote the best Episodes of Star Wars Ever, The Empire strikes back and Return of Jedi. and Raiders of lost Ark.

BobaFett on Nov 8, 2012


He would have gotten my vote. Not sure why he was overlooked.

avconsumer2 on Nov 9, 2012


No more Star Wars for this old fan.

castingcouch on Nov 10, 2012


Bring Star Wars back to the top of the line, back to the top of the food chain and to the top of the all time gross on the box office!!

Neo on Nov 10, 2012


teach Star Trek a lesson lol

si1ver on Nov 14, 2012

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