LucasFilm announced that Oscar-winner Michael Arndt will write the screenplay for the upcoming Star Wars films.
In addition to being selected as the only screenwriter for Episode VII, Arndt has written a 40-50 page treatment for the subsequent Star Wars films to be released by Disney, which will comprise what is being dubbed the Sequel Trilogy (with Episodes I–III being the Prequel Trilogy and Episodes IV–VI being the Original Trilogy).
Disney CEO Bob Iger stated they feel “really good” about the “extensive and detailed treatment for what would be the next three movies,” adding that the film is in “early-stage development.”
Pre-production story conferences have begun between Arndt, Kathleen Kennedy and George Lucas. Prior to the sale of LucasFilm to the Walt Disney Company, Arndt was selected by LucasFilm to draft ideas for taking the franchise into the future.
The Hollywood Reporter indicates that the initial treatment for the upcoming trilogy would bring the saga of the Force-imbued Skywalker family to a close, focusing on a new generation of heroes, as well as featuring appearances by Mark Hamill and Carrie Fisher, with the possibility of dead Jedis appearing in glowing blue spirit form.
Numerous sources relate that Harrison Ford and Fisher are open and upbeat about returning, while Screenrant.com reported that Hamill does not anticipate being involved “in any significant capacity.”
Previously, Arndt won two Academy Awards for writing “Little Miss Sunshine” (Best Original Screenplay, 2006) and “Toy Story 3” (Best Adapted Screenplay, 2010), making him the first screenwriter to be nominated in those categories for their first two screenplays. According to IMDb.com, Arndt left his two-year job as assistant to Matthew Broderick in order to write his Oscar-winning screenplay for “Little Miss Sunshine.”
Arndt has also written the screenplays for “Oblivion” (April 2013), which is currently in post-production and will star Tom Cruise and Morgan Freeman; “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire” (November 2013); and the theatrical debut of “Phineas and Ferb” (2014).
A prolific and successful screenwriter, Arndt’s philosophy is, “Most scripts aren’t bad scripts, they are just not finished yet.”
In a 2010 interview, Arndt said that writing for a major franchise like Toy Story was “more pressure than I’ve ever felt -– or that I imagine I’ll ever feel -– in my entire writing life … I really, really, really didn’t want to let anyone down, so the pressure was pretty agonizing for the entire four years of making the movie.”
Here’s hoping Arndt doesn’t have a bad feeling about succumbing to the agonizing pressure of writing the next three films in the Star Wars franchise. Use the Force Michael!