There are a couple of news swarming around Star Wars Episode VII. Michael Arndt is now confirmed to scribe and Quentin Tarantino and Steven Spielberg want no part in helming the project.
“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 Kennedyand 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).”
Michael Arndt did a great job with the Toy Story 3 screenplay, but I’m not particularly sold yet on guys with an animated background doing live-action. For animated directors tackling live-action projects, it’s been mostly a hit; for example, Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol was directed by Brad Bird (Ratatouille, The Incredibles) and 21 Jump Street was directed by the guys that did Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs. The one I was disappointed with was John Carter. That’s a disney project that had Andrew Stanton as the director. He did an awesome job in Finding Nemo, but the pacing was off in John Carter.
As for Quentin Tarantino, he tells Entertainment Weekly that he doesn’t care to direct Star Wars VII:
“I could so care less. No, sorry. Especially if Disney’s going to do it. I’m not interested in the Simon West version of Star Wars.”
What? Tarantino didn’t enjoy Expendables 2 or Con Air? I guess he’s referring to Tomb Raider and the Mechanic. I’m not really sure what he means by that.
Steven Spielberg told Access Hollywood that Star Wars VII is not his genre:
“No! No! It’s not my genre. It’s my best friend George’s genre.”
I’m kind of glad that he doesn’t want to direct a franchise that Lucas created. Even though Spielberg did great with the first three Indiana Jones films, the last film “jumped the shark”, or shall I say, “Nuked the fridge.” He should stick to directing projects he’s passionate about, since I highly enjoyed War Horse.
Overall I am very excited about Disney buying out Lucasfilm. For one thing, they’ve done a great job so far of helping out Marvel Studios with the Avengers-related films. And the other? Lucas won’t be directing.
The last truly great Star Wars experience I’ve had was playing Knights of the Old Republic. What that game proved to me was that a Lucas-free Star Wars story that takes place during a different time than the Empire storyline can be good.