Well, that was fast. Just last week we were telling you that Star Wars: Episode VII, the film that will mark the beginning of a new trilogy, would feature an original story. Today, according to an exclusive report from Vulture, Oscar-winning screenwriter Michael Arndt — who most recently penned The Hunger Games: Catching Fire — is the leading candidate for the gig.
“Insiders confirm that Arndt has written a 40- to 50-page treatment for the film and is likely to be at least one of the writers when the Disney/Lucasfilm project begins shooting in 2014,” writes Claude Brodesser-Akner, explaining that the screenwriter was busy at work on the story long before the recent Disney/Lucasfilm merger was announced. Apparently the treatment will be sent to several big name directors, including Brad Bird, Steven Spielberg, and J.J. Abrams, and, if studio brass has anything to do with it, will bring back “a much older Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia, and Han Solo.”
While still unconfirmed, we think this news is a good thing. As our film editor Jason Bailey pointed out, Disney has a decent track record when it comes to breathing new life into the existing brands, and with the right people involved, these new films could actually be good*. From what Vulture says, Arndt feels the same way about Star Wars that Jason Segel did about the Muppets; he has even given lectures on what makes the original films so satisfying to watch. With his script and a talented director — fingers crossed! — this might just work out after all.
*Please don’t hold us to this.