Update: Deadline is reporting that Arndt has actually written a treatment for the entire new Star Wars trilogy that was announced two weeks ago and that he will spend next year writing the screenplay for the first installment.
Original Story – While there has been much speculation about who may direct Star Wars: Episode VII over the past two weeks, the equally important question as to who may write the film has gone largely unreported until today. It appears that Toy Story 3 screenwriter Michael Arndt may have a leg up on the competition and be the front runner for the job.
Vulture is reporting that Arndt has already written a 40 to 50 page treatment for the film and that Disney is strongly considering him for the job. Supposedly this treatment, which Arndt was working on before the October 30 merger of Lucasfilm and Disney was announced, is going to be sent out to a number of big name directors whom Disney presumably hopes would be interested in directing the film.
They are also reporting that the studio would like to see the original Star Wars trilogy characters of Luke Skywalker, Han Solo and Princess Leia all return for the new film, though no deals were in place with actors Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford and Carrie Fisher. We do know that Star Wars creator George Lucas met with Hamill and Fisher over the summer where he informed them that there would be future Star Wars films and that Ford said he would be “open” to the possibility of returning to the franchise.
Arndt won an Oscar for writing the indie hit Little Miss Sunshine and has also adapted the second Hunger Games novel Catching Fire which is currently in production. He has also lectured on the art of screenwriting and has used the screenplay for the original 1977 Star Wars film as an example of how to do things right in his talks, which is one of the most reassuring things about this news.
But what of the treatments that Lucas has supposedly written that were mentioned amidst the news of the acquisition and new film trilogy? Has that been trashed or was that the basis from which Arndt worked from? More as it develops.