Here's tonight's official statement from Lucasfilm:
As pre-production of Star Wars: Episode VII begins, Lucasfilm has confirmed that award-winning writer Michael Arndt will write the screenplay for the new Star Wars film. As revealed in the ongoing video series posted here on StarWars.com, Kathleen Kennedy and George Lucas have begun story conferences with Arndt. Arndt won an Academy Award® for Best Original Screenplay for writing Little Miss Sunshine (2006), and was nominated for Best Adapted Screenplay for writing Toy Story 3 (2010).
Well, they didn't reveal that story conferences had started with Arndt, just that they had started with someone, but okay, let them downplay the leak.
Do they really mean that pre-production is beginning? As in sets are being designed and readied and casting is in full swing and all that stuff?
And if so, does this mean we're going to get a director named soon too? They can't possibly have one in place already… can they?