When Disney announced their plans to purchase LucasFilm and make the highly-anticipated Star Wars: Episode VII, we knew that George Lucas would not be involved in any capacity. That lead to rampant speculation as to who would write and direct this new adventure set in a galaxy far, far away. Today, we have word that Oscar-winning screenwriter Michael Arndt is the top candidate to craft the script.
The writer recently turned in a 40-to-50 page treatment outlining his take on the story, which he had been working on months prior to the Disney/LucasFilm announcement last week. He will likely be at least one of the writers who does work on the actual screenplay before shooting begins in 2014.
We reported earlier this week that Harrison Ford, Mark Hamill, and Carrie Fisher are interested in returning as Han Solo, Luke Skywalker, and Princess Leia. The studio has not made any offers to the actors yet, but Michael Arndt's treatment is said to include much older versions of these characters.
Michael Arndt's treatment will start going out to top directors such as Steven Spielberg, Brad Bird, and J.J. Abrams. It is not known if any of these top-tier filmmakers have any interest in tackling this massive project, but Disney wants to make sure all of the big-name directors have had a shot at it. Other filmmakers such as Matthew Vaughn and Colin Trevorrow have been mentioned as contenders.
Michael Arndt won an Oscar for his first produced screenplay, Little Miss Sunshine. He also wrote the screenplay for Toy Story 3 and upcoming projects such as Oblivion and The Hunger Games: Catching Fire.