That dashing, Oscar-clutching fellow is Michael Arndt, the Academy Award-winning screenwriter of LITTLE MISS SUNSHINE and the Academy Award-nominated writer of TOY STORY 3. When it comes to breaking down the craft of screenwriting, he's as articulate and inspiring as they come. I really like Arndt. As a writing guru. As a writer, I find his work somewhat mechanical. He may possess an impeccable understanding of story structure, but his scripts tend to play like blueprints.
But Arndt is highly respected in Hollywood, so it's hardly a surprise to learn that, according to Vulture's "informed sources", he's the guy behind that "detailed" EPISODE VII treatment* we've been hearing about since the announcement of the Disney/Lucasfilm merger. As Vulture's Claude Brodesser-Akner notes, it's a smart hire given Arndt's thoughtful analysis of why A NEW HOPE has one of the most perfect climaxes in film history (described in the Vulture piece). As for whether he's going to stay on to write the actual screenplay, Lucasfilm ain't sayin' nothin', but it seems likely.
Vulture claims that the script will soon be out to the likes of Brad Bird, J.J. Abrams and, surprisingly, Lucasfilm co-chair Steven Spielberg. Any of those names work for you?