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Michael Arndt confirmed to write “Star Wars: Episode VII”

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Disney is moving quickly on “Star Wars: Episode VII.” Less than a month after the Mouse House first announced its acquisition of Lucasfilm, it’s already targeted the writer who’s going to pen the next movie in the “Star Wars” saga.

A day after it was revealed that Michael Arndt had written a 40 to 50 page treatment for the next three “Star Wars” movies, Disney confirmed that the Oscar winner will write at least “Star Wars: Episode VII.”

“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. Arndt won an Academy Award® for Best Original Screenplay for writing Little Miss Sunshine (2006), and was nominated for Best Adapted Screenplay for writing Toy Story 3 (2010),” reads a statement on StarWars.com.

It will be interesting to see if the other part of the initial report claiming Arndt was the man to write “Episode VII” is true as well. It was claimed that the new trilogy will focus on an older Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia and Han Solo, and that Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher and Harrison Ford were all interested in reprising their roles.

“Star Wars: Episode VII” is slated for a 2015 release date, which means Disney will likely also be settling on a director soon. The current frontrunners seem to be J.J. Abrams, Brad Bird and Steven Spielberg, but we’ll have some more on that later.

Do you think Arndt is a good pick for “Star Wars: Episode VII”? Tell us in the comments section below or on Facebook and Twitter.

Carol Cate Blanchett

Spirit Guide

Check Out the Spirit Awards Nominees for Best Male and Female Leads

Catch the 2016 Spirit Awards live Feb. 27th at 5P ET/2P PT on IFC.

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Photo Credit: Wilson Webb/©Weinstein Company/Courtesy Everett Collection

From Jason Segel’s somber character study of author David Foster Wallace, to Brie Larson’s devastating portrayal of a mother in captivity, the 2016 Spirit Awards nominees for Best Male and Female Leads represent the finest in the year of film acting. Take a look at the Best Male and Female Leads in action, presented by Jaguar.

Best Male Lead 

Christopher Abbott, James White
Abraham Attah, Beasts of No Nation
Ben Mendelsohn, Mississippi Grind
Jason Segel, The End of the Tour
Koudous Seihon, Mediterranea

Watch more Male Lead nominee videos here.

Best Female Lead 

Cate Blanchett, Carol
Brie Larson, Room
Rooney Mara, Carol
Bel Powley, The Diary of A Teenage Girl
Kitana Kiki Rodriguez, Tangerine

Watch more Female Lead nominee videos here.

Zack Snyder has no interest in directing “Star Wars: Episode VII”

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We can add a new name to the short list of people who aren’t interested in being involved in “Star Wars: Episode VII.” Though he was once named as a director that Disney was interested in having helm the new project, Zack Snyder has revealed that he doesn’t want to be involved in the “Star Wars” sequel trilogy.

“I don’t think I’d be interested in [directing it],” Snyder told The Los Angeles Times. “I’m a huge ‘Star Wars’ fanatic. I just think doing [episodes] seven, eight and nine is just a slippery slope. It’s a whole other mythological experiment I’m excited to see, but it’s a lot of effort.”

Disney is now focused on three new names to helm “Star Wars: Episode VII”: J.J. Abrams, Brad Bird and Steven Spielberg. That news came out in a report claiming Michael Arndt is the top contender to write the new movies, and that he has already penned a treatment for the upcoming trilogy. It’s unclear whether any of the three directors Disney is eying are actually interested, but we expect that the studio only wants a big name director responsible for this trilogy.

Meanwhile, we finally have some general information about what the new movies will be about. It’s been reported that “Star Wars: Episode VII,” “VIII” and “IX” will revolve around older versions of the original trilogy’s three central characters: Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia and Han Solo. All three actors have expressed interest in returning to the series that made them stars.

“Star Wars: Episode VII” is due to hit theaters in 2015 with each subsequent sequel coming out a year or two after. It’s gearing up to enter production in 2014.

Are you disappointed Snyder won’t be involved? Who do you think would be a good director for the new “Star Wars” movies? Tell us in the comments section below or on Facebook and Twitter.

“Star Wars: Episode VII” targets “Toy Story 3″ screenwriter Michael Arndt

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Well, that was fast. Disney has reportedly already narrowed in on the screenwriter it wants to use for the next three “Star Wars” films, and he’ll be none other than Oscar-winner Michael Arndt.

Arndt is actually a pretty smart choice for Disney to pick. He helped pen “Toy Story 3″ with John Lasseter and Lee Unkrich, so he’s no stranger to the Mouse House. He’s also been nominated for an Oscar for both of his produced screenplays, and won one for “Little Miss Sunshine.” Arndt has been a hot commodity this year, having contributed to the screenplays for “Catching Fire” and “Oblivion.” He also has been brought back by Disney to write “The Untitled Pixar Movie That Takes You Inside the Mind.”

The news that Arndt had written a 40 to 50 page treatment for the upcoming “Star Wars” project was first confirmed by Vulture and later confirmed by The Hollywood Reporter, with Deadline reporting that the treatment is for the entire sequel trilogy. Arndt has apparently been developing this treatment since before Disney announced its acquisition of Lucasfilm, and it will be passed around to potential directors including Brad Bird, Steven Spielberg and J.J. Abrams.

In addition, Vulture has some new details about what the new movies are going to be about. Apparently the original three stars — Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher and Mark Hamill — won’t just be making cameo appearances; they’ll be leading the movie.

“Sources also tell Vulture that the studio’s brass want to bring back the three central characters of the original ‘Star Wars': a much older Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia, and Han Solo. No deals are in place with any of the original actors, though our source did say it had high ambitions to sign up Mark Hamill, and EW recently reported that Harrison Ford was open to the idea of returning,” the site writes.

Fisher has also vocalized her interest in reprising the role of Princess Leia. “Star Wars: Episode VII” is due to hit theaters in 2015 with each subsequent sequel coming out a year or two after, and it’s gearing up to enter production in 2014.

Do you think Arndt is a good pick for the three “Star Wars” sequels? What do you think of the rumored plans for the movies’ plot? Tell us in the comments section below or on Facebook and Twitter.

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