“Star Wars” fans have a friend in Michael Ardnt, the screenwriter who has reportedly penned a treatment for Disney and Lucasfilm’s new trilogy. Even if Arndt isn’t a household name, surely you know the man’s work.
Read on for a closer look at what Arndt’s résumé tells us about the future of “Star Wars.”
Arndt made his big splash in 2006 with “Little Miss Sunshine,” a road-trip comedy about a dysfunctional family finding themselves and renewing their faith in one another through one impossible situation after another. Thrust some lightsabers in their hands and replace the pageant show with a burlesque scene at Jabba’s and you wouldn’t be too far off from the dynamics at play in the first “Star Wars” films. Arndt’s Oscar winning work on “Sunshine” shows his proficiency at handling an ensemble while making each character stand out with their own unique voices and breakout moments — crucial skills to have in place for the next round of “Star Wars” films.
Also on Arndt’s résumé is “Toy Story 3,” the record-breaking Pixar film that concluded the studio’s most iconic trilogy of movies. The film was nominated for a Best Picture award at the Oscars in 2011, and many would argue (yours truly included) that “Toy Story 3″ was the best of the trilogy. That says something considering how great the first two were. Here, Arndt showed that he can dive into a franchise that hasn’t moved a muscle in almost a decade, and breathe new but familiar life into characters we’ve loved for years. Sounds like a useful skill for someone trying to resurrect the “Star Wars” series, doesn’t it?
Beyond those movies, Arndt’s credits consist of films that have yet to be released. On that list is “The Untitled Pixar Movie That Takes You Inside The Mind,” a film we know absolutely nothing about, but, hey, it’s Pixar — it (almost) has to be good! It also shows that Arndt’s isn’t a one-trick pony; he’s a reliable writer, one who excites the elite Disney-owned studio. There’s a reason Disney backed this horse for their next biggest franchise.
None of these films are particularly action-packed, at least not in the same way that the “Star Wars” movies are. Arndt’s about to get those types of credits on his résumé with work on Tom Cruise’s new sci-fi vehicle “Oblivion” and “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire,” the second film in the four-part adaptation of the “Hunger Games” novels. Ultimately, the success of “Catching Fire” will depend on a number of factors, Arndt’s script included. But the fact that he was turned to already for one of today’s biggest film franchises shows that studios have confidence in Arndt’s ability to handle this type of material.
All of these factors considered, our money is on Arndt being more than capable of delivering not just a solid “Star Wars” treatment, but an exciting and — fingers crossed — award-fetching one.
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