Michael Arndt & 'Star Wars': Oscar Winner Hired To Write 'Episode VII'

Michael Arndt is officially headed to a galaxy far, far away.

The Oscar-winning screenwriter behind "Little Miss Sunshine," as well as the Oscar-nominated script for "Toy Story 3," has been hired to write "Star Wars: Episode VII." Disney and Lucasfilm announced the news via StarWars.com on Friday night, one day after it was rumored that Arndt had written treatments for all three films in the upcoming "Star Wars" trilogy and was close to being hired for "Episode VII" duty.

As pre-production of 'Star Wars: Episode VII' begins, Lucasfilm has confirmed that award-winning writer Michael Arndt will write the screenplay for the new 'Star Wars' film. As revealed in the ongoing video series posted here on StarWars.com, Kathleen Kennedy and George Lucas have begun story conferences with Arndt.

On Thursday, it was reported that Arndt's treatment had hit the desk of Steven Spielberg, among others, but you can count the "Lincoln" director out of "Episode VII."

"No! No!" Spielberg told Access Hollywood this week. "It's not my genre. It's my best friend George's genre."

As previously run down here at HuffPost Entertainment, "Star Wars: Episode VII" rumors have been sprouting up like mushrooms since the announcement of the film at the end of October. Matthew Vaughn and Colin Trevorrow have been tied to "Episode VII" as possible directors, while original star Harrison Ford has apparently expressed some interest in returning to the franchise as well. An unnamed source told Geoff Boucher from Entertainment Weekly's EW.com that Ford is "open to the idea of doing the movie and he's upbeat about it," but with a caveat: Ford wants Han Solo to die.

[via StarWars.com]

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