At this point, you’ve either had it up to here with Star Wars news stories or you’re devouring every morsel like a Sarlacc at a buffet. If you’re the former, good luck with the Internet for the next few months, you’re going to need it. If you’re the latter though, then this one might just interest you.
We’ve known that producers had already met with some writers prior to the big announcement of last week, and it looks like the first of those writers has been revealed: Oscar winning Toy Story 3, Little Miss Sunshine and The Hunger Games: Catching Fire writer, Michael Arndt.
Vulture scored the scoop from their industry insiders, who claim that Arndt has completed a “40-50 page treatment”, and that he is currently the favourite to be given the full scribe duties on the highly anticipated film, or at least be one of the lead writers involved.
Him being billed as the favourite choice comes as no surprise given his history and good relationship with Pixar, which Disney also owns. Most importantly though, he’s a Star Wars fanboy. Actually, “fanboy” is not good enough. He’s a Star Wars academic! After winning an Oscar for Little Miss Sunshine in 2006, Arndt has presented numerous screenwriting lectures where he almost always makes use of the original Star Wars trilogy to underline his writing practices. This man knows his bantha from his bacta.
Vulture tried contacting Arndt’s agent for confirmation of his involvement, but was referred to Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy, who did not provide any comment herself. A Lucasfilm representative would only say that “We have no news to report at this time.”
And all that stonewalling immediately raised the suspicion of a few people, as it would certainly have been easier to just say that Arndt was not involved if that was the case.
Arndt’s treatment is apparently being shown to a few top-tier directors first, including Brad Bird, JJ Abrams and Steven Spielberg. While the chances of the last two taking on this gig is really slim, considering their already tight schedules and the amount of “baggage” that Star Wars brings, Disney is apparently doing it anyway just to at least have tried it. Who knows? They might just hook a big fish. Though the thought that JJ Abrams could potentially be running Star Wars and Star Trek is just too much for my geeky brain to process.
Furthermore, Vulture’s sources apparently also confirm earlier reports that Disney is looking to get the original cast trio of Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford and Carrie Fishcer back, with special emphasis being placed on Hamill reprising his role as an older Luke Skywalker.
Arndt’s got a great reputation in the business and a good relationship with all the principals involved in this one, so while we really can’t state anything as fact until Disney or Lucasfilm does, you really don’t need the Force to see that this is looking pretty likely.