New York Magazine's Vulture blog is reporting that Michael Arndt, who wrote the screenplays for Toy Story 3, Little Miss Sunshine, and The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, is the "leading candidate" to write Star Wars Episode VII.
Insiders confirm that Arndt has written a 40- to 50-page treatment for the film and is likely to be at least one of the writers when the Disney/Lucasfilm project begins shooting in 2014.
The choice of Arndt to pen a treatment makes perfect sense, given both his prestige as a screenwriter and his close relationship with Disney’s equally secretive Pixar — he’s the screenwriter of the cheekily titled Untitled Pixar Movie That Takes You Inside the Mind for Up director Pete Docter, currently in preproduction — but there’s one more reason still that Arndt would be so appealing to Disney and Lucasfilm: He’s a Star Wars expert.
UPDATE: Deadline.com also has a source claiming that Arndt has written treatments for the entire sequel trilogy and that he will work on the Episode VII script. "Arndt was brought on board by Lucasfilm months ago to put together ideas to take the franchise forward, a source with knowledge of the situation says. This was before the October 30 $4 billion sale of George Lucas’ company to Disney was finalized."
UPDATE #2: Sources have confirmed to The Hollywood Reporter that Arndt "was hired to write a 40-to-50-page treatment for Episode VII" and that he "is likely to pen a draft of [the] screenplay."