Official Info Lucasfilm Confirms: Michael Arndt To Write Screenplay For Episode VII

Discussion in 'Star Wars: Episode VII - Spoilers Allowed' started by Diggs, Nov 8, 2012.

  1. Darth_Pevra Chosen One

    Member Since:
    May 21, 2008
    star 5
    I know the director isn't alone responsible for the visuals, but he is still the guy calling the shots and holding control over these aspects.

    I have nothing against Arndt, but how can you be so certain he will do wondrous? He wasn't involved in that many big projects and 50% of them only turned out okay to decent (Brave and Oblivion) in the eyes of the public. It's not like he is untouchable or could never produce a dud. I think over-hyping him is setting yourself up for disappointed.

    Personally I don't think the ST will be any more special than the two new Star Treks (which I enjoyed). Enjoyable movies but not the "omg the bestest saga in the universe" like the OT was.
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  2. Frank_TJ_Mackey Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 6, 2000
    star 4
    While I agree with you about Arndt, I think that E7 has the potentiel to be special.

    the new Star Trek are good, forgettable movies.

    Arndt is not alone in this, Kasdan is there, Kennedy too. I think that Arndt will bring his A game, but it's hard to tell if he's an amateur runner or an olympic runner.

    Like Mcweeny said, everyone involved has been asked to "dream big".

    It will not be ESB, but won't be AOTC either.
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  3. Darth_Pevra Chosen One

    Member Since:
    May 21, 2008
    star 5
    Star Trek was very successful though. It is one case of a successful franchise reboot. If 7 measures up to these movies in the eyes of the public it is already pretty good (note I am not talking about BO because SW will always beat ST when it comes to BO).
  4. Zuckuss the Ruckuss Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 5, 2013
    star 4
    My expectations is a good Star Wars movie. It doesn't have to be great. I'm not expecting a transcending film going experience that completely changes the film landscape. I don't think a movie like the original Star Wars can even happen again in the film medium, given the modern filmgoing culture.

    If its better than the prequels, the film will be a run away success imo.
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  5. markdeez33 Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 25, 2013
    star 3
    It will definitely be better than the prequels. The creative team seems reinvigorated. The prequels, you had Lucas handling the brunt of the work, and that's where they fell short, because Lucas isn't the best director for getting great performances out of his actors. The prequels were good, but not great. The sequels will be GREAT. I just have that feeling about them.
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  6. Garth Maul Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    May 18, 2002
    star 6
    hard to imagine anyone arguing that the writer of Toy Story 3 and Little Miss Sunshine won't be better at scripts than George Lucas.
  7. Apophis_ Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 4, 2012
    star 1

    Good to hear that!
    I'm huge fan of M83, you should go and listen to his albums, especially "Before the Dawn Heals Us" and "Dead Cities, Red Seas & Lost Ghosts" - they are more epic than Oblivion soundtrack!
  8. Diggs Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 31, 2012
    star 4

    I doubt even GL would argue with that statement.
  9. Visivious Drakarn Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 20, 2013
    star 2
    The thing I'm most looking forward to is the fact that this trilogy will be better than the OT. Lucas made outlines for all three movies so they won't make stuff as they go. Hopefully there will be no enormous plot holes, no spaceship eating animals or Ewoks.

    Not better, just different.
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  10. Diggs Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 31, 2012
    star 4
    No, I'm sorry, Michael Arndt is a (much) better screenwriter than GL. If you were to ask every working screenwriter in the business there would be very few, if any, who would rate GL above MA as an actual screenwriter.

    GL is an undoubted genius in many areas and is fantastic visionary with some incredible ideas. But he is also guilty of dodgy execution at it times when it comes to screenwriting.
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  11. Darth Chiznuk PT Trivia Master / Game Host

    Game Host
    Member Since:
    Oct 31, 2012
    star 5
    I love Michael Arndt and I'm very pleased that he's writing Episode VII but he hasn't written anything as great as Star Wars IMO so until he does I would never rate him above George Lucas. But that's just my opinion.
    Last edited by Darth Chiznuk, Aug 3, 2013
  12. Diggs Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 31, 2012
    star 4
    Good and very fair point. No one can take away the impact GL has had on pop culture, cinema and modern myth-making. I'd say he was a better writer back when he was starting out and had to take notes/ compromise. Plus, the dialogue got a fair amount of help from Willard Huyck and Gloria Katz.

    From the secret history of SW:
    Lucas was friends with Willard Huyck during film school, which also brought him into contact with Willard's then-girlfriend. Willard Huyck and Gloria Katz, who eventually married, were a pair of writers that Lucas has often relied upon in his career, capable of crafting warm and human characters and playful dialog above all else. The two of them developed the treatment to
    American Graffiti
    with Lucas, with the Huycks poised to write the script as well--due to circumstance, Lucas had to write the script himself, but the Huycks were luckily able to re-write the final draft to give the film its snappy dialog. "The scenes are mine, the dialog is theirs," Lucas has said. While writing
    Star Wars
    , the Huycks were among the many friends Lucas relied upon for feedback, and being professional writers and old friends of his, their opinions may have been among the most precious. When Lucas traveled to Los Angeles--probably for meetings with Fox--he was sure to stop off at their place and have them read his script. "We'd say, 'George, this character doesn't work,' " Willard remembers, "and George would go 'Uh-huh' and make a note, and then fly home." But the Huycks take a special category--they did an uncredited re-write of the final script, similar to
    Graffiti
    . When Lucas had done his fourth draft in preparation for shooting, he requested that the Huycks go through and improve the dialog, make it snappier and funnier. About 15% of the dialog is estimated as belonging to them. They later also visited Lucas in England during shooting (possibly influencing the script further--Lucas was re-writing it throughout the first half of the production). Fox was already nervous about the film and Lucas didn't want them to know he was having others re-write it so he swore the Huycks to uncredited secrecy.

    There's another article there on the screenwriting in SW which people may find interesting (or infuriating depending on your point of view). I happen to agree with much of it but here's the link if anyone wants a read:

    http://secrethistoryofstarwars.com/natureofthebeast1.html

    I'm sure many will disagree and feel the writer is grinding an axe and that GL's touch never wavered, but this part in particular grabbed me.

    A common explanation is merely that "Lucas lost his touch"
    [10]
    --he made two great films and one good film (the original trilogy), plus the masterpieces of American Graffiti and Raiders of the Lost Ark and the overlooked gem of THX 1138, but now he's past his prime. While this is ostensibly part of the explanation, it is too simple a view. The research enacted for my monograph on the screenwriting of the Star Wars franchise, however, afforded me the availability of a number of facts which outlined a distinct division in the processes used to construct the six films which comprise the series, especially where the screenplays were concerned. To put it succinctly, Lucas never really had "the touch" to begin with in this sense. This is not to argue that he was untalented and that the original films should be credited to everyone but him. However, on his own, Lucas is incapable of constructing a plot-and-character-based film which emotionally grabs the audience; he is not a Lawrence Kasdan or a Francis Coppola, two writers he is often connected with. One can observe that the films that are considered his best--Graffiti, Star Wars, Empire, and Raiders--were the most collaborative, in facthighly collaborative, in terms of the script, and the films that are his worst--namely the prequels, and to a lesser degree Jedi--were the least collaborative. There is a very observable correlation between the methods Lucas used to construct the screenplays and the popular opinion of their quality.
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  13. Darth Chiznuk PT Trivia Master / Game Host

    Game Host
    Member Since:
    Oct 31, 2012
    star 5
    Oh I know Lucas had alot of help with the dialogue and things like that and I would never argue that he did it all on his own. But I have huge respect for him being able to imagine and create this wonderful galaxy that's brimming with life and history in just the first film alone. I can't name many authors who have done something similar to this degree.
  14. Diggs Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 31, 2012
    star 4
    I have massive, massive respect for the man and what he has created as well. I wouldn't be writing myself if it wasn't for Star Wars and Indiana Jones.
  15. Zuckuss the Ruckuss Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 5, 2013
    star 4
    As I have said before Lucas shows the difference between a storyteller and a writer. Though related, they are very different skill sets. Lucas is not, and never really was a writer.

    At his core, Lucas was a visual filmmaker. That is, telling a story not with dialogue, characters or plot; but with imagery, music, and style.
    Last edited by Zuckuss the Ruckuss, Aug 3, 2013
  16. DARTHVENGERDARTHSEAR Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jun 8, 2002
    star 4
    The funny thing is, Lucas has always said that of himself, too. It's too bad these guys that he had before weren't around to help him write the dialogue for the PT, because it could have made a difference.
    Last edited by DARTHVENGERDARTHSEAR, Aug 3, 2013
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  17. Pro Scoundrel Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 20, 2012
    star 4
    I have total faith in Michael Arndt. Little Miss Sunshine and Toy Story 3 are nothing alike, except for their excellence. Also, having read Arndt's comments about Star Wars, I am confident in both his love and understanding of the franchise.
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  18. Ganger Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Dec 9, 1999
    star 3
    Oh God, I think I haven't read those comments. Could you please post a link? I tried google but it backfired, can't seem to find them. Thanks in advance.
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  19. Pro Scoundrel Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 20, 2012
    star 4
    Try googling Michael Arndt lectures about Star Wars. I think that's how I found it. A couple of years ago Michael Arndt did a bunch of writing lectures and used Star Wars as a talking point for how to write a good script.
  20. Jedirush2112 Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 10, 2013
    star 3
    If they are anything like the Reboots of Star Trek and Into Darkness, episode VII is going to be awesome. But please no Lens Flares! Please!

    [face_nail_biting]
  21. Echo Base Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 21, 2013
    star 3
    That's what I don't understand. Lucas has even said the past that he finds writing a painful process and he has all the financial resources in the world, so why didn't he simply let someone else ghost-write the prequels for him based on his treatments? If it is something he disliked doing and admits that it isn't one of his strengths, why not pay someone to do it for him?
  22. gambit420 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 14, 2003
    star 2
    Bravo my friend... Couldn't have said it better myself!
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  23. Corvax855 Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 23, 2011
    star 2
    Actually Lucas did have a co-writer for AotC in Jonathan Hales, but from what I've read, by the time he was brought on board the project, it was already too late. Most of the changes he wanted to make would have compromised the production schedule with shooting literally a week or two away. Lucas didn't really like any of the changes he made anyway, and only ended up using a few here and there. The writing process for AotC and RotS was basically the equivalent of saving your homework projects for the last minute when you were a kid. He really didn't have time to polish them up or have someone else come in and polish them up. In fact, RotS was completely rewritten twice, once during production and once afterwards for reshoots, which is why some of the scenes (especially pertaining to Anakin's turn) feel very uneven.
  24. Echo Base Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 21, 2013
    star 3
    Thanks for all that info.
  25. Diggs Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 31, 2012
    star 4
    Agree on the rough draft nature and feel of the PT (especially towards the end of it). Also, and fair play to him, GL was simply not subjected to the normal notes process from producers and studio execs. While some notes can be frustrating or even downright terrible, not all are, and it can be important part of (hopefully) improving the quality of a script. I can think of very few writers who's work would basically go unchallenged from an early draft to shoot, but that seems to be exactly what happened by the end of ROTS. GL was able to get his pure unfiltered vision on the screen (which for some will be amazing, and others, part of the PT problem.

    That said, to be fair to GL, he did ask Kasdan if he would come aboard TPM, but Kasdan turned him down. Also, to be fair, Darabont read a draft of TPM and told GL it was fine, so there you go. Personally, I think at that stage, people still had concrete faith that GL was a genius with the midas touch and it would turn out amazingly on the screen.
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