‘Star Wars Episode 7′ Might Have a Writer
With Disney's recent acquisition of LucasFilm and their promise to release 'Star Wars Episode 7' in 2015, we thought it might be a little while longer before we knew much more -- but it looks like the film may already have a writer lined up.
According to Vulture, sources tell the site that Disney may have already chosen a writer for 'Star Wars Episode 7' -- Michael Arndt. Arndt was nominated for an Oscar for his work on 'Toy Story 3' and won the award for his 'Little Miss Sunshine' script. He also penned 'The Hunger Games: Catching Fire,' which is currently shooting for a release next November.
If their sources are to be believed, Arndt has already written a 40-50 page treatment for the new 'Star Wars' installment, though that doesn't necessarily mean he'll be the only writer on the project; and if he's elected to write the script, this doesn't mean his will be the final draft, either. Still, it's exciting news considering Arndt's previous and varied work. 'Little Miss Sunshine' was flawed, certainly, but there's no denying the magical power of 'Toy Story 3' (seriously, who wasn't sobbing when those toys held hands and accepted that they were all going to die?).
According to sources inside the studio, 'Star Wars Episode 7' will most certainly feature the three main characters from the original trilogy -- Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia and Han Solo, with Harrison Ford and Carrie Fisher both stating recently that they're open to returning for the new film.
Another interesting bit of info: Arndt's treatment will be read by "top directors," including Steven Spielberg, Brad Bird and J.J. Abrams. That's not to say that any of these directors are currently interested, but of the three, Bird makes the most sense. Spielberg has collaborated with Lucas before, but we don't think he'd take on something like 'Star Wars,' given his recent output and his commitment on 'Robopocalypse.' As for Abrams, he's been working with Paramount for years, so a switch over to Disney doesn't seem likely right now.
Besides his solid script work, Vulture points out that Arndt makes total sense for the job given his involvement at Pixar and his 'Star Wars' expertise -- Arndt gives lectures on screenwriting and consistently uses the ending of the first film as an example of the perfect ending for a film:
At these talks, Arndt always tells attendees that Star Wars’ enduring appeal has to do with resolving its protagonists goals’ nearly simultaneously, at the climax of the movie. In the comments section of a discussion about a Star Wars talk Arndt gave at the Austin Film Festival in 2010, one attendee of the seminar notes, "Arndt stated that if a writer could resolve the story's arcs (internal, external, philosophical) immediately after the Moment of Despair at the climax, he or she would deliver the Insanely Great Ending and put the audience in a euphoric state. The faster it could happen, the better. By [Arndt’s] reckoning, George Lucas hit those three marks at the climax of Star Wars within a space of 22 seconds."
Indeed, in the third act of Star Wars, as Arndt explained to his young screenwriting Padawans at the 2009 Hawaii Writers Conference, its central characters' main goals all are met on pages 89 through 91 of the original Lucas script: At the crescendo of Star Wars, a spectral Obi Wan urges, “Use the Force, Luke,” and he does, thus reaching his inner goal (fighting self-doubt to become a hero). Han Solo reappears (meeting the philosophical goal of overcoming selfishness with altruism) to shoot down Darth Vader, which allows Luke to use the Force to mentally guide his shot and blow up the Death Star (outer goal and inner goals simultaneously met).