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Lucasfilm Confirms Michael Arndt Will Write Star Wars: Episode VII

Lucasfilm has confirmed that Oscar winner Michael Arndt will write Star Wars: Episode VII, the first film in a new trilogy announced last week along with the studio’s acquisition by Disney. George Lucas and his Lucasfilm successor Kathleen Kennedy have begun story conferences with Arndt, who’s reportedly created a 40- to 50-page treatment that will be passed along to potential directors.

Arndt, who won an Academy Award for Little Miss Sunshine, also wrote Toy Story 3, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire and the upcoming Untitled Pixar Movie That Takes You Inside the Mind for Up. He’s also characterized as a Star Wars expert who lectures at writers’ retreats about why the conclusion of the original trilogy is so creatively satisfying.

As previously reported, the new films are expected to center on the next generation of heroes, with the studio hoping for appearances by Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher and Harrison Ford as (obviously) older versions of Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia and Han Solo. According to The Hollywood Reporter, there’s a good chance other characters from the previous chapters will appear– what’s a Star Wars film without C-3PO and R2-D2? — “even the dead Jedis, who have a habit of showing up in spirit form.”

Kennedy, who will become president of Lucasfilm when the Disney deal is finalized, is now tasked with finding a director. Although several top names have been mentioned, The Hollywood Reporter suggests Brad Bird (The Incredibles, Mission: Impossible — Ghost Protocol) may be a favorite.

Star Wars: Episode VII is targeted for a 2015 release.


  • HED

    Brad Bird would be great.

  • Theolddude

    Given his well-known skill at ensuring large ensemble casts all get good screen time & his attention to detail regarding characterisation – plus the fact he’s directed big blockbusters – may I suggest Joss Whedon? After all, he’s known & trusted by Disney.

  • Kevin Melrose

     Whedon will have his hands full with The Avengers sequel, which also opens in 2015. Also:

  • BradRz

    Yeah, Whedon is the least-likely candidate, given that he’s prepping the S.H.I.E.L.D. tv series (for which he’ll write and direct the pilot), then moving immediately into Avengers 2, which will be in production at exactly the same time as the next Star Wars. 

    Most of the big names that fans and the fan press have been throwing around are directors who are already committed to other projects. Even the “most-likely” Brad Bird is booked up, unless the title of the film he’s currently working on is actually a “Blue Harvest” style cover for SW.

    I expect (and would prefer) the eventual director to be someone who comes more out of left field. No fan in 1978 would have guessed that Irvin Kershner would be the perfect fit for “Empire”, and I’m hoping that history will repeat itself.  

  • Mcsmack69

    District 9 Director Neil Bollenkemp ( if I spelled that wrong I apologize), Ridley Scott, maybe Peter Jackson direct Episode IX.