Ron Howard has been tapped to direct the untitled Han Solo movie, the prequel (!) which chronicles some of the early adventures of the charismatic Star Wars hero.
The move follows the bombshell that The Lego Movie directors Phil Lord and Christopher Miller were being let go six months into production. The directors couldn’t resolve creative differences with Lucasfilm head Kathleen Kennedy and Lawrence Kasdan. Kasdan wrote the script with his son, is a producer on the movie, and has serious Star Wars cred for writing the scripts for The Empire Strikes Back and The Return of the Jedi.
Who will get the credit for directing is now a big question floating around in the Director’s Guild of America, especially since the same thing happened with Star Wars: Rogue One. Gareth Edwards directed the film, but the extensive reshoots that occurred were done under the watch of Michael Clayton director Tony Gilroy. The argument exists that Gilroy’s reshoots improved or even saved the movie, and although Rogue One made over a billion dollars worldwide Edwards is given sole credit for directing the film.
Here is Lucasfilm’s statement on the switch:
“Lucasfilm is pleased to announce that Academy Award-winning filmmaker Ron Howard has been named director of the untitled Han Solo film.
‘At Lucasfilm, we believe the highest goal of each film is to delight, carrying forward the spirit of the saga that George Lucas began forty years ago,’ said Kathleen Kennedy, president of Lucasfilm. ‘With that in mind, 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 the 10th of July.’
Howard has made some of the biggest hits and most critically-acclaimed movies of the modern era. Among his many films are Lucasfilm’s Willow, Apollo 13, A Beautiful Mind (winner of four Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Best Director), The Da Vinci Code, Frost/Nixon, and Rush. He also narrated and produced the beloved comedy series Arrested Development, starred in George Lucas’ American Graffiti, and remains a TV icon for his roles in The Andy Griffith Show and Happy Days.”
Howard will be working on a time crunch to keep to the scheduled May 25, 2018 premiere of the untitled Han Solo movie.