Toy Story 3 writer will pen Star Wars sequel

Ben Arnold

Michael Arndt, the writer of 'Toy Story 3', will pen the first of the 'Star Wars' sequels, it's been confirmed.

Rumours emerged last week that he had provided the new Disney-owned Lucasfilm with a 40-50 page treatment for the continuing 'Star Wars' saga.

[Related story: Harrison Ford's return of Han Solo?]

But now he's been officially announced as the screenwriter that's landed one of the hottest jobs in Hollywood.

The production of the sequel is already very much in motion.

According to the Hollywood Reporter, episode VII will focus on new characters for the 'Star Wars' universe, as well as featuring roles for original stars Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher and Mark Hamill, reprising Han Solo, Princess Leia and Luke Skywalker.

It's also thought that some of the slain Jedis from previous films could well turn up in spirit form.

Arndt is highly respected in Hollywood, having won an Oscar for the screenplay for the comedy 'Little Miss Sunshine', as well as a nomination for 'Toy Story 3'.

He has also recently co-written the script for the 'Hunger Games' sequel 'Catching Fire', and forthcoming sci-fi thriller 'Oblivion', set to star Tom Cruise and Morgan Freeman.

There's no word yet on who may direct episode VII, but among the favourites are Brad Bird and Matthew Vaughn.