Video: Kathleen Kennedy and George Lucas on directors and getting started on Episode VII

StarWars.com has released the second video featuring Kathleen Kennedy and George Lucas talking about the new Star Wars films, Lucas’ role in them, and what they’re looking for in a director.

There’s some overlap with the first video in the beginning, Kennedy did mention “people she’s worked with in the past,” but didn’t bring up any names. “I think we have a unique opportunity to go after some incredibly talented people,” she says. “It’s not going to be people who don’t already have some affinity for Star Wars probably, it’s gonna be somebody who really appreciates what Star Wars meant to them and is excited to dive in and be a part of this. I think the thing that will be immediately apparent are the directors who walk into the room and say ‘I can’t wait to be a part of this.'”

“I think it’s going to be a pretty long list,” Kennedy concludes.

Report: Toy Story 3’s Michael Arndt has written a treatment for Episode VII

UPDATE: StarWars.com confirms that Michael Arndt will indeed be writing the Episode VII screenplay.

Vulture’s Claude Brodesser-Akner reports today that “informed sources” say that Michael Arndt has “written a 40- to 50-page treatment” for Episode VII.

Their sources also tell them that the studio higher-ups want to bring back the older Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia, and Han Solo, with “high ambitions” to sign Mark Hamill at least.

Arndt, who won the original screenplay Oscar in 2007 for Little Miss Sunshine, has used the original Star Wars screenplay in lectures to writers; Brodesser-Akner dubs him a “Star Wars expert.”

Arndt’s treatment will “cross the desks” of big name directors that include Brad Bird, Steven Spielberg and J.J. Abrams, Brodesser-Akner writes.

UPDATE: The Hollywood Reporter has their own sources which corroborate the Vulture report.

Is he the man for Lucasfilm and Disney? Well, for all we know he could just be one of several writing such treatments, but he has the connections, the passion, and, as we learned in Toy Story 3, the ability to make grownups bawl like babies.

Arndt scripts currently in pre-production include The Hunger Games: Catching Fire and The Untitled Pixar Movie That Takes You Inside the Mind.

In other Episode VII ‘news’ that may sooth your mind, Sucker Punch’s Zack Snyder doesn’t seem interested. Phew.

Carrie Fisher on returning to Star Wars: “Wouldn’t you?”

The internet’s favorite celebrity street-harassers, TMZ, caught up with Carrie Fisher at LAX to ask if she’s come back to Star Wars. An unenthused Fisher (can’t blame her – aren’t airports hellish enough without paparazzi?) answered “Yes. Sure. Wouldn’t you?”

Of course, Fisher has had more time than the rest of us to get used to the idea – George Lucas told her and Mark Hamill about the sequels in August.

Rumor: Safety Not Guaranteed‘s Colin Trevorrow on shortlist to direct Episode VII?

The director of sci-fi indie Safety Not Guaranteed has had “early discussions” with George Lucas and Lucasfilm to direct Episode VII, Celebuz reports.

“Trevorrow met Lucas several months ago to talk about the project,” they write. They can “confirm that Trevorrow is indeed on the list of potential names that could shepherd a new trilogy of films.”

I hesitate to call Trevorrow unknown – at least in comparison to some of the names we’ve had thrown around thus far – but this is the first I’ve heard of him. However, a lesser-known director would fit with Lucas’s MO in the past. But remember, while it’s completely plausible that he may have met with Lucas and be on the shortlist, this is still a rumor!

UPDATE: Well, sort of. Indiewire got hold of Trevorrow for a thrilling “No Comment.” Well, if you were (supposedly) on the shortlist, wouldn’t you?

As for one of our other rumored director candidates, Matthew Vaughn, writer Mark Millar says that he dropped out of the X-Men: First Class sequel to work on the movie adaption of the comic Secret Service.

Damon Lindelof: “George Lucas is responsible for everything that I aspire to be.”

The Lost co-creator – already the subject of an early rumorshared his thoughts on the new movies with Rolling Stone.

I can’t imagine what it’s going to be like for the person that has to sit down and write that movie. Whoever takes that job is going to be in the hot seat. That’s not even doing it justice. It’s going to be beyond scrutinized. Look at the other pop culture phenomenons, like Twilight or Hunger Games, and all the scrutiny that went into the casting decisions and other behind-the-scenes stuff. The fact you have 13-year-old girls who know who Gary Ross is is a testament to our culture now.

It’s a nice piece – a little bit love letter, but with a lot practical considerations and predictions from someone knee-deep in the biz. Definitely worth a read!

Report: Harrison Ford “open to” and “upbeat” about returning as Han Solo?

Entertainment Weekly’s Geoff Boucher has a ‘highly placed source’ claiming that “Harrison is open to the idea of doing the movie and he’s upbeat about it…” But he also theorizes – on the force of Ford’s history with the role – that he may require a ‘a mandatory death scene’ for the character.

Ford hasn’t been particularly enthusiastic about Solo in recent years (Boucher runs through the quotes) but there are a few things – like Kathleen Kennedy – that might lure Ford back as well. Either way, I’m not sure we can expect to see anything on the record from Ford until he’s promoting his next movie!

Rumor: Matthew Vaughn in talks for Episode VII?

Our first rumor this week comes from Collider, which claims that X-Men: First Class director Matthew Vaughn is in talks to direct Episode VII. Their ‘source’ says it’s the reason he dropped out of the First Class sequel, which will now be helmed by original X-Men director Bryan Singer. (via)

Vaughn has significant writing credits as well. In addition to First Class, he wrote screenplays for Stardust and Kick-Ass, which he also directed.

Let’s review: What do we really know about Star Wars VII-IX?

Tomorrow it’ll be a full week since the biggest Star Wars news since the mid-90’s dropped: Not only Disney buying Lucasfilm, but that they’d be making a new trilogy – the sequel trilogy and perhaps beyond.

And amid all the rumors and fan hopes? There’s not really all that much info that’s actually solid. So in order to help stem at least a little confusion, I’ve created a page to keep track of what we actually know about Episodes VII-IX so far. It’ll be updated as we get further information.

Report: George Lucas and Kathleen Kennedy meeting with “well-known screenwriters” to pitch ideas for Episode VII

Today in Episode 7 reports, we have the Los Angeles Times’ Steven Zeitchik and John Horn saying that “several different screenwriters paid visits to Lucasfilm’s Northern California compound to pitch George Lucas and his co-chair Kathleen Kennedy their ideas for the new live-action installment.” Their source went on to say “they were well-known screenwriters with experience creating big-budget Hollywood films,” and the stories were not adapted from existing Star Wars books. (via)

Their source is anonymous, but this does dovetail neatly with something Kennedy said in the video released Tuesday: “We’re sitting down with a couple of writers and we’re starting to discuss ideas; We’re starting to talk about what those stories might be.” I feel comfortable putting this one in the ‘fairly plausible’ column.