Catching Fire, Toy Story 3 Writer Michael Arndt To Pen Stars Wars Episode VII

Access Hollywood
Winner of Best Writing, Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen for 'Little Miss Sunshine' Michael Arndt poses in the press room during the 79th Annual Academy Awards at the Kodak Theatre on February 25, 2007 -- Getty Images

Looks like the Disney and Lucasfilm families are already beginning to blend.

Michael Arndt, who penned Disney-Pixar's "Toy Story 3," has been tapped to write the screenplay for "Stars Wars: Episode VII," Lucasfilm confirmed Friday.

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Arndt, whose screenplay for 2006's "Little Miss Sunshine" earned him an Academy Award, also wrote the highly anticipated "Hunger Games" sequel, "Catching Fire" (currently in production).

Fellow Hollywood scribe Damon Lindelof ("World War Z," "Prometheus," "Star Trek Into Darkness"), Tweeted his excitement over the "Stars Wars" news on Friday, writing, "Michael Arndt is the perfect choice. We're in good hands, fellow nerds."

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As for who will direct the film, many top-notch names have been rumored to be in the mix (including J.J. Abrams and Jon Favreau), but Steven Spielberg will definitely not be signing on.

As previously reported on, Access caught up with Spielberg on Thursday night at the premiere of his latest film, "Lincoln," where we asked the longtime friend and collaborator of George Lucas about the possibility of directing the upcoming "Episode 7."

"No! No! It's not my genre," he explained. "It's my best friend George's genre."

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-- Erin O'Sullivan

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