Ron Howard will direct the untitled Han Solo spinoff movie for Lucasfilm and Disney – who own the Star Wars films – after directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller left the production midstream. Howard’s directorship was announced on 22 June 2017, swiftly after the previous directors left.
“At Lucasfilm … we’re thrilled to announce that Ron Howard will step in to direct the untitled Han Solo film. We have a wonderful script, an incredible cast and crew, and the absolute commitment to make a great movie. Filming will resume 10 July,” said Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy.
The Han Solo movie stars Alden Ehrenreich as Han Solo and Donald Glover as Lando Calrissian, with a cast that includes Woody Harrelson, Thandie Newton, Emilia Clarke and Phoebe Waller-Bridge. It is the next movie in the revived franchise ‘’Star Wars: The Last Jedi’’ written and directed by Rian Johnson, which will be released on 15 December 2017. The Han Solo movie is still expected to be released on 25 May 2018.
Previous directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller had ‘creative differences’ with producer and Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy and writer Lawrence Kasdan. The news of their firing on 20 June 2017 was a shock because they had been working on the production of the Han Solo movie for years, and had successfully worked on The LEGO Movie and the 21 Jump Street films.
“Unfortunately, our vision and process weren’t aligned with our partners on this project. We normally aren’t fans of the phrase ‘creative differences’ but for once this cliché is true. We are really proud of the amazing and world-class work of our cast and crew,” Lord and Miller said.
Ron Howard (1954-) is an Oscar-winning director and producer for the 2002 film, A Beautiful Mind.
Howard is an actor and film-maker, who shot to fame in the family sitcom Happy Days, playing Richie Cunningham. Before Happy Days, Howard was a child star playing Opie Taylor in the sitcom The Andy Griffith Show for eight years. In 1980, Howard left Happy Days to focus on directing. His films include Cocoon (1985), Apollo 13 (1995), The Da Vinci Code (2006), and Frost/Nixon (2008).
According to news sources, there was only three and a half more weeks of production and five weeks of re-shoots in post production scheduled for the new Han Solo movie. Howard will have to finish the film in time for its 25 May 2018 release date.
Howard has a long relationship with George Lucas and Lucasfilm, although he has never directed a Star Wars movie. Howard’s first major adult film role was in George Lucas’ American Graffitiin in 1973. In 1988, Howard directed the Lucas-produced Willow, which has become a cult classic.