Late last month we learned the somewhat surprising news that the Disney company purchased Lucasfilm (and all of its properties, including the Star Wars franchise) for $4 billion dollars. On the very same day, it was announced that production of a new Star Wars film was in the works for a film that is due out in 2015. Today we learn that Michael Arndt, the man who wrote Toy Story 3 (among other very famous films) for Disney/Pixar has signed on to write the script for Star Wars Episode VII. BUT, it turns out that Arndt‘s involvement with the next Star Wars film began way before Disney bought Luscasfilm. Nonetheless, Disney‘s influence on the Star Wars franchise is already beginning to show.
As pre-production of Star Wars: Episode VII begins, Lucasfilm has confirmed that award-winning writer Michael Arndt will write the screenplay for the new Star Wars film. As revealed in the ongoing video series posted here on StarWars.com, Kathleen Kennedy and George Lucas have begun story conferences with Arndt. Arndt won an Academy Award® for Best Original Screenplay for writing Little Miss Sunshine (2006), and was nominated for Best Adapted Screenplay for writing Toy Story 3 (2010).
Deadline offers a bit more info:
LucasFilm confirmed today that Michael Arndt will be writing the next Star Wars movie … the company said that Arndt, who wrote the screenplay for Hunger Games: Catching Fire and won an Oscar for writing Little Miss Sunshine, will be the only screenwriter on the first Star Wars movie since 2005′s Episode III: Revenge Of The Sith. Previously it looked like Arndt would be one of a number of writers on Star Wars Episode VII … Michael Arndt has written a treatment for not just one but the next three Star Wars films coming from Disney, Deadline has learned … Arndt was brought on board by Lucasfilm months ago to put together ideas to take the franchise forward, a source with knowledge of the situation says. This was before the October 30 $4 billion sale of George Lucas’ company to Disney was finalized, The result was the “pretty extensive and detailed treatment for what would be the next three movies, the trilogy,” that Disney CEO Bob Iger referred to when the company’s acquisition of Lucasfilm was announced.
Clearly, Michael Arndt is a very talented screenwriter. His work with Toy Story 3 alone is proof of that. But when you look at the other films he’s penned, well, I think it’s safe to say that the Star Wars franchise is in good hands. I know that many people are still a little freaked out about the acquisition of Lucusfilm by Disney but I still contend that this is great news for fans. Arndt‘s involvement with the next Star Wars film (and possibly series of films) gives me great hope that the franchise will not merely survive but that it will blossom with exciting new life.