That is right, ladies & gentlemen. Yahoo reports that Michael Arndt, who won an Oscar for penning the script for Little Miss Sunshine, has put down the pen for the Star Wars: Episode VII screenplay. “Arndt” you disappointed? The reasons why he left are still unknown. Kathleen Kennedy, who is currently the president of Lucasfilm, made a vague statement about his departure:
“Michael Arndt has done a terrific job bringing us to this point,” she wrote, “and we have an amazing filmmaking and design team in place already prepping for production.”
The screenplay is now going to be tackled by J.J. Abrams himself, along with a man who is quite familiar with the franchise, Lawrence Kasdan. He has written for the franchise before back in 1980 for The Empire Strikes Back, which if my IMDB powers serve me correctly, was his first screenplay. Afterwards, he further collaborated with Lucas in writing Raiders of the Lost Ark and Return of the Jedi. Mrs. Kennedy had this to say to the YAHOOligans on the matter:
“I am very excited about the story we have in place and thrilled to have Larry and J.J. working on the script,” Lucasfilm boss Kathleen Kennedy wrote on StarWars.com. “There are very few people who fundamentally understand the way a ‘Star Wars’ story works like Larry, and it is nothing short of incredible to have him even more deeply involved in its return to the big screen. J.J. of course is an incredible storyteller in his own right.”
Hmmm, I don’t know how to feel about this, but I don’t mean that in a bad way. In terms of Arndt leaving, it is a bit of a let down. He’s the kind of writer that knows how to bring out the emotional core in a story. What made me confident in him to yield the pen for the Star Wars VII screenplay, was in his work with Toy Story 3. That film showed in its writing that it was able to be sentimental with its characters, without being sappy and pathetic. This demonstrates that he is able to work within a franchise that already has established characters, and create a solid story that fits within the spirit of the previous films. However, his work in sci-fi hasn’t been too impressive. His one and only sci-fi film was Oblivion, and although that film was a fun watch, it seemed to be a little uninspired. That almost makes me want to retract my previous statement, because I do not know how much of Toy Story 3 was him, and how much was with his collaborators John Lasseter and Andrew Stanton. So I guess we’ll have to wait for The Hunger Games: Catching Fire to see if he still has the magic touch to work within an already established franchise.
Arndt aside, I actually like the idea of bringing Kasdan and Abrams together to write this bad boy. Also, they already have what Arndt has contributed, and I believe that they can make a fantastic script. It is no secret that Abrams is a HUGE fanboy when it comes to Star Wars. So we can have faith that we will probably put a lot of love and care in to this film. Also, The Empire Strikes Back is the epitome of the entire franchise to many fans, and even though Jedi had its problems, it was still a fun time and a good cap to the trilogy. With a brilliant director/fanboy collaborate with the writer who wrote (arguably) the best film in the entire series, it sounds like we are going to get the best of both worlds. We have both the passion at play, as well as the people who understand the mechanics of the Star Wars universe. So shut up and take my money!
So fellow OOUies, what are your thoughts? Whatever they are (or Arndt), comment below, let One of Us know