Page 3 Profile: Michael Arndt, Screenwriter


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The Independent Culture

So who is this then?

This is the man who has just been signed up for one of the most sought after, and certainly one of the most daunting, jobs in Hollywood. Scribe Michael Arndt, whose biggest credit to date is Toy Story 3, will pen the screenplay for the next Star Wars film, Episode VII, for the new owner of Lucasfilm, Disney.

No pressure then. So why has George Lucas chosen him?

Lucas and Kathleen Kennedy, who is overseeing production of the new films having worked on E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial and the Jurassic Park trilogy amongst many others, had said they wanted someone that would understand what the Star Wars franchise means to people. Arndt, who is well known to be a Star Wars fan, appears to be that man. And he was apparently keen – according to reports, he had already written a 40 to 50 page treatment for the new trilogy. His groaning awards cabinet may also have helped.

Oh, a celebrated screenwriter then?

Definitely. He is the first person to pick up Oscar nominations for both Best Original Screenplay and Best Adapted Screenplay for his first two films. He picked up the Oscar for original screenplay with 2006 comedy Little Miss Sunshine at the 79th ceremony, and the adapted screenplay nomination came for 2010's Toy Story 3 at the 83rd awards. Both films took home a stack of other awards to go with his co-writing credit for the second of the Hunger Games films, Catching Fire.

Who is he going to be working with?

A whole new raft of heroes apparently. However, Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher and Harrison Ford, who played the central figures of Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia and Han Solo have all reportedly expressed an interest in being involved, so who knows. Director duties are also still up in the air but Pixar alumnus Brad Bird (The Incredibles, Ratatouille) is one name mooted. Whoever else ends up on board, expectations around the new film will be huge and Arndt will have to shoulder many of them.