Steven Spielberg, J.J. Abrams and Brad Bird Up for Star Wars: Episode VII

Toy Story 3 screenwriter Michael Arndt has reportedly turned in a 40 to 50 page treatment.

William Bibbianiby William Bibbiani

Despite rumors that X-Men: First Class director Matthew Vaughn will direct Star Wars: Episode VII, it's still anybody's game until Disney makes an official announcement. Right now, they're still considering different writers' takes on the new trilogy, and one such writer may have an edge. His Oscar-winning screenplay for Little Miss Sunshine may not make him an obvious candidate, but his experience in resurrecting a nostalgia property with wit, energy and heart on Toy Story 3 could make him an excellent choice to write the new Star Wars movie. His name is Michael Arndt, and according to Vulture he's just turned in a massive 40 to 50 page treatment for Episode VII, and is very likely to be at least one of the official writers on a film that, as of last week, is probably the most anticipated motion picture since Star Wars: Episode I.

That's a pretty hefty treatment for a film that was only just announced as a possibility a week ago, but Arndt was well ahead of the game, having reportedly worked on the story long before the news that Episode VII was a go. We don't know if he had advance word of the deal. In fact it's entirely likely he'd done the work in his spare time, since he's an avid fan of the franchise and has lectured on the original film's storytelling brilliance before. There's no word on the content of Arndt's treatment, although Vulture also reports that Disney is keen to bring back Luke Skywalker, Han Solo and Princess Leia in some capacity, whether or not they can cast original actors Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford (who has already expressed an interest in returning) and Carrie Fisher.

The report makes no mention of rumored directorial frontrunner Matthew Vaughn, and instead claims that Arndt's treatment will be sent to top tier filmmakers Steven Spielberg, J.J. Abrams and Brad Bird to gauge their interest. Spielberg has been closely affiliated with George Lucas in the past, and was once rumored to have been offered the opportunity to direct Return of the Jedi. J.J. Abrams is just finishing up his own sci-fi sequel, Star Trek Into Darkness, and would likely be available during Disney's ideal timeframe (they've expressed a desire to release Episode VII in 2015). Brad Bird was best known for directing animated hits like The Incredibles and Ratatouille before making his live-action debut with Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol in 2011. He has yet to announce his follow-up project.

Remember, younglings… none of this is official. Arndt's draft could end up in the waste bin, and each of these directors could end up daunted by the task of revitalizing Star Wars (or simply too busy with their own projects to attach themselves to the new franchise). We're just keeping you up to date with the latest updates from reputable sources across the web. 

Who would you like to see direct Star Wars: Episode VII, anyway?

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