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'Star Wars VII' Script Writer Michael Arndt Is Replaced

Image: 'Star Wars VII' Script Writer Michael Arndt Is Replaced Michael Arndt accepts the best original screenplay Oscar for "Little Miss Sunshine" in 2007.

By Michael Mullins   |   Friday, 25 Oct 2013 10:07 AM

"Star Wars VII" is losing is Academy Award winning screenwriter Michael Arndt.

The announcement was made by Lucasfilm on Thursday, with the news that director J.J. Abrams, of "Star Trek" and "Lost" fame, and Lawrence Kasdan, who co-wrote "The Empire Strikes Back" and "Return of the Jedi," have been tasked with scripting duties for "Star Wars VII," the Associated Press reported.

Arndt, who wrote the screenplay for "Toy Story 3," "The Hunger Games: Catching Fire," and "Little Miss Sunshine" – for which he won an Oscar, was named as the sole screenwriter for "Star Wars VII" late last year.

Lucasfilm did not elaborate on their decision to replace Arndt in their announcement.

"I am very excited about the story we have in place and thrilled to have Larry and J.J. working on the script," Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy said in the announcement, posted 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. Michael Arndt has done a terrific job bringing us to this point and we have an amazing filmmaking and design team in place already prepping for production."

Prior to being named a co-screenwriter of the upcoming "Star Wars VII" film, which is due out in 2015 with shooting scheduled to begin next spring, the 64-year-old Kasdan had been a consultant on the film. Kasdan is also known for having written the scripts for "Raiders of the Lost Ark," "The Body Guard," and "Dreamcatcher."

In a June interview with the French edition of Metro, the Huffington Post reported that Abrams, while discussing "Star Wars VII" said, "It's funny because I have admired the screenwriter, Michael Arndt, from 'Little Miss Sunshine' and in recent months, I asked him to work with me, [but] every time he would say, 'I can't, I'm on something.' And then one morning I read that it was 'Star Wars' and I understood."

Citing sources close to "Star Wars VII," BadassDigest.com reported that rather than build on the script which Arndt wrote, Abrams and Kasdan will be starting from square one and "rewrite" the entire script.

Related stories:

'Star Wars' Actor Dies: Richard LeParmentier Was Famously Choked by Darth Vader

'Star Wars' Cinematographer Gilbert Taylor Dies at 99

Mark Hamill Returning as Luke Skywalker? Actor Says Talks Ongoing

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