Nothing is official yet, but Vulture is reporting that a possible candidate to write the screenplay for Star Wars: Episode VII is Michael Arndt, an Oscar winner for writing Little Miss Sunshine and a nominee for the emotionally-charged Toy Story 3. Arndt, according to Vulture, wrote a 40-50-page treatment for the next installment of George Lucas' classic franchise and Disney/Lucasfilm liked it a lot. Even better, the writer had been working on this before the merger last week, so they didn't have to vet a bunch of losers first!
But seriously — Michael Arndt might be perfect for this.
Indeed, Disney/Lucasfilm may have themselves a scribe who has proved he can tell a story that will touch our hearts and our funny bones, as well as take us on an exciting journey with wonderful characters — with great dialogue! Just imagine — a Star Wars movie that makes you cry. A Star Wars movie that could be nominated for fancy awards, and not just by MTV, like it was in its glorious 1970s heyday! Can you even imagine Han Solo dying now? A Han Solo death brought to you by Michael Arndt would be devastating. Social media — no, the entire internet would collapse under all that nerd-motional weight.
But the thing that makes Arndt an incredibly qualified candidate: besides being a great writer of non-Star Wars movies (he's also writing a secret movie for Pixar as well as The Hunger Games: Catching Fire), he is a full-fledged Star Wars expert:
Since winning the Oscar for Sunshine, Arndt has lectured extensively on the art of storytelling at numerous writers' retreats, like the Hawaii Writers Conference in Maui and the Austin Film Festival, always featuring a lengthy and detailed explanation of why the original Star Wars' ending is so creatively satisfying…
"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."
Those 22 seconds take place roughly around pages 89 to 91 of the script, at which point the aforementioned climax occurs when the ghostly Obi Wan Kenobi utters "Use the Force, Luke." The point is, Michael Arndt has dissected and studied this script as if he were trying to discover the exact location in the brain that makes people either saints or assholes. This is a guy who can be very, very trusted to take on a beloved franchise, because it is beloved by him. Neither Lucasfilm, Disney, nor Arndt's camp are offering up any official comments, but if Arndt is ultimately chosen, he would be one of the best possible people for the very daunting task.
Star Wars: Episode VII May Have Found Its Writer [Vulture]