Rumor: Toy Story 3 screenwriter scripting Star Wars: Episode VII

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Ever since news broke that Disney had purchased Lucasfilm, and has plans to release three new live-action Star Wars movies over the course of the next decade, the geek masses have been alternately celebrating with abandon and racking their brains for any snippet of information that might reveal who exactly Disney will tap to work on this crucially important continuation of George Lucas’ world-famous sci-fi saga. To wit, this article published only yesterday which claims that Harrison Ford may return to reprise his role as Han Solo in Episode VII.

Toy Story 3In reality of course, nobody outside of the expansive Disney family has any idea who might be tapped to work on this project, but that won’t stop journalists and fans alike from clinging to anything that could possibly be construed as a hint. Thus, Vulture reports that Disney wants to hire Michael Arndt to script Episode VII. According to unnamed, “informed sources,” Arndt has already completed a “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.”

Though you may not be familiar with Arndt directly, you’ve certainly seen his work. He wrote the indie hit Little Miss Sunshine, and provided screenplays for both Toy Story 3 and the upcoming Hunger Games sequel, Catching Fire. Further, he’s also apparently penned screenplays for an upcoming film based on The Disney Channel’s Phineas and Ferb cartoon series, and a Pixar film that IMDB calls “The Untitled Pixar Movie That Takes You Inside the Mind.” Obviously we know nothing about that last project, but based on Pixar’s past efforts it’s likely to be delightful fun for the whole family.

With Arndt’s credentials established, we should probably mention the two other aspects of Vulture’s claims. While the Disney/Lucasfilm deal seemingly caught everyone by surprise, Vulture claims that talent agencies were hit hardest. Instead of using this as an opportunity to pitch their writer clients to Disney for the coveted script writing gig, these agencies were informed that Arndt had already been working on that aforementioned treatment for quite some time prior to Disney’s announcement. Intriguingly, now that the treatment is complete, Vulture believes it will shortly be sent out to a swath of big-name Hollywood directors to gauge their interest in helming this movie. Names listed in Vulture’s report include JJ Abrams, Brad Bird, and Steven Spielberg.

As with all rumors, we caution you to take this news with a huge grain of salt. We have no reason to doubt any of Vulture’s claims, but without official confirmation, all of this will remain a rumor until such time as Disney sees fit to solidify some of these ethereal details. That said, if Vulture is entirely correct, Episode VII could be an even bigger event than we’d previously imagined. A new Star Wars film written by one of the guys behind Toy Story 3 and helmed by the beloved director who brought us JawsE.T. and Jurassic Park? If that doesn’t get you worked up into an excited lather, then your sense of whimsy has been dead for years.