Less than two weeks after it was first announced that Disney would be purchasing Lucasfilm and creating more “Star Wars” movies, the first solid details are finally emerging about “Star Wars: Episode VII,” namely, the likely identity of its writer.
Industry sources have reported to Vulture that Michael Arndt, screenwriter for “Toy Story 3,” “Little Miss Sunshine,” and “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire” among others, has turned in a 40-50 page treatment for “Star Wars: Episode VII.” It’s likely that Arndt, who won an Oscar for “Little Miss Sunshine” will at least be hired to write a draft of the latest “Star Wars” film.
Because Arndt has a close relationship with Pixar and its parent company Disney, he was hired to complete the treatment far before Disney made their purchase of Lucasfilm news. This early knowledge of the upcoming “Star Wars” films makes it all the more likely that Arndt will be bringing the world the latest adventures of Luke Skywalker, Han Solo, and Princess Leia for Disney.
According to Vulture, Arndt isn’t just an Academy Award-winning screenwriter — he’s an Academy Award-winning screenwriter that absolutely loves “Star Wars.” Arndt has been lecturing on screenwriting and storytelling for years at various writer’ retreats, and much of his advice revolves around the storytelling in “Star Wars.”
For instance, Arndt gave a memorable talk about the brilliance of “Star Wars’” screenwriting at the 2010 Austin Film Festival.
"Arndt stated that if a writer could resolve the story's arcs ... immediately after the Moment of Despair at the climax,” Vulture summed up his speech, “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."
Once the “Star Wars: Episode VII” treatment is approved by Disney producers, it will be passed on to some of the top directors in the business. Vulture lists Brad Bird, JJ Abrams, and Stephen Speilberg as top contenders.
So far, few details have emerged on the plot of the latest “Star Wars” film other than reports that it will be an entirely original story, not one based on the popular “Thrawn Trilogy” of “Star Wars” novels.
Despite the lack of details, Vulture reports that Disney is interested in bringing back significantly older versions of the original trilogy’s star characters — Han Solo, Luke Skywalker, and Princess Leia. This makes sense if Disney is abandoning the Thrawn Trilogy, because the books feature young versions of Han, Luke, and Leia soon after the climax of “Star Wars: Return of the Jedi.”
So far, none of the original actors have inked any deals with Disney, but according to EW, Harrison Ford is open to returning as Han Solo. Mark Hamill has been less vocal about his return as Luke Skywalker, but according to an interview with the AV Club, he doesn’t seem opposed to of creating another “Star Wars” film.