Confirmed: 'Toy Story 3' writer to script 'Star Wars: Episode VII'

The first of the new 'Star Wars' films is slated for release in 2015

Confirmed: 'Toy Story 3' writer to script 'Star Wars: Episode VII'

Toy Story 3's Michael Arndt has been hired to write Star Wars: Episode VII.

Last month (October 2012), Disney announced plans to make a new series of Star Wars films after buying Lucasfilm for $4.05 billion (£2.5 billion). Episode VII has been slated for release in 2015.

George Lucas will serve as "creative consultant" on the new movies, but will not play a hands-on role in their development. Last Friday (November 9), it emerged that Arndt was brought in several months to ago to draft a "pretty extensive and detailed treatment" for three new Star Wars movies.

He has now been officially commissioned to script the first film. An announcement on the Star Wars website reads: "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, (Lucasfilm president) Kathleen Kennedy and George Lucas have begun story conferences with Arndt."

Arndt is a known Star Wars fan with an impressive CV. He won an Oscar in 2007 for his original screenplay to Little Miss Sunshine and went on to script 2010's Toy Story 3, which earned him another Oscar nomination. He has also co-written The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, due next year (2013).

Meanwhile, Star Wars: Episode VII has yet to lock in a director. X-Men helmer Matthew Vaughn is reportedly in talks for the job, while Steven Spielberg has publicly ruled himself out.

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