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Exclusive : Toy Story 3 director on Arndt’s Star Wars involvement; Disney’s Jedi Academy acquisition

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This morning, news rolled down the coaxial wire suggesting that “Toy Story 3″ co-writer Michael Arndt had possibly been secret rely working on a treatment for “Star Wars Episode 7″. Though there’s been no confirmation yet, enough solid, customarily-reliable sources have followed up on the initial report backing up the claim.

Essentially confirming the secrecy of the deal, suggesting a Rancor monster would’ve been sent after Arndt had he mentioned his involvement to anyone, the writer’s “Toy Story 3″ collaborator Lee Unkrich told me today that he learnt the news on the web himself.

“I read that earlier today [too]”, Unkrich, the director of “Toy Story 3″, said. “It was actually the first I’d heard of it. I don’t know if it’s true, but if it is, it’s great.”

Unkrich is as excited as the rest of us to hear who might end up captaining the new “Star Wars” trilogy, and wouldn’t at all be surprised to hear it’s someone of note.

“Many of the top-tier filmmakers working today were inspired to become filmmakers by Star Wars, so I think they’re really excited by this news. They were kids when the movies came out, and now they may have a chance to possibly play a part in the future [of the franchise]. I, personally, am very excited… ”

He doesn’t know if the Arndt/”Star Wars” news is true, but Unkrich is confident of one thing – the Disney and “Star Wars” union is a good match.

“It’s great. I was surprised when it was announced that George [Lucas] decided it was time to retire, and that Disney was taking over was a surprise, but I think [Disney and Lucasfilm] is a great match. I’m really excited for it.”

Unlike Pixar colleague Brad Bird (or, as per the rumours, Arndt), Unkrich has no plans to cross-over (or ‘back over’ as the case is, since Unkrich began his career directing TV) into live-action at this point; perfectly happy working in the world of animation with Pixar. His next film is a movie about the Mexican holiday, Dia de los Muertos .

“I’m really fascinated by it. Nobody has ever made a movie about it. John Lassetter was really excited about the idea, so that’s what I’m doing next. It’s in the early stages.”

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About Caffeinated Clint

The writer/publicist/producer who wears the editor hat on Moviehole. Favorite films include "Say Anything...", "The Hunt for Red October", "Jerry Maguire", "Almost Famous", "Die Hard", "The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo", "Young Guns", "American Psycho", "Back to the Future" and the "Star Wars" series.
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