Let it be known that the presumed frontrunner who would be taking over the standalone Han Solo prequel story, Ron Howard, has been officially confirmed to fill the director’s chair. After this past Tuesday’s unprecedented announcement that the film’s original directors (Phil Lord and Chris Miller) had been fired, Opie himself will play ball with Lucasfilm and producer Kathleen Kennedy in order to bring balance back to the force.
Since Lord and Miller’s “creative differences” statement was made on the matter earlier this week, we’ve since learned that the creative duo behind franchise comedy tentpoles 21 Jump Street, The LEGO Movie, and Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs clashed with Lawrence Kasdan, the famed screenwriter behind The Empire Strikes Back and now the Han Solo stand-alone film. Apparently, sources told The Hollywood Reporter that it was believed that Lord and Miller had a different understanding of the character of Han Solo than what was envisioned on the page.
The movie began filming in February and this news broke only three weeks before it was supposed to wrap principle photography, but THR reports that this friction between directors and Kasdan, along with his son who co-wrote the script, butted heads from the very beginning. And with Kennedy behind Kasdan’s corner, it has been understood that the directors were completely in shock of the decision, which they learned only this Monday.
The production has gone into hiatus, but Howard has been given time to evaluate the situation and shooting will resume on July 10. This is not unfamiliar territory for Lucasfilm who had trouble with the direction of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, which was led by Gareth Edwards (Godzilla; Monsters). The studio brought on Tony Gilroy to rewrite and direct key reshoots only months before the movie was set to release.
As for Howard, he released a statement this Thursday:
“I’m beyond grateful to add my voice to the Star Wars Universe after being a fan since 5/25/77. I hope to honor the great work already done & help deliver on the promise of a Han Solo film.”
Howard, who has directed such hits as Apollo 13 and A Beautiful Mind, is no stranger to franchise films. The direct recently came off his third venture with Tom Hanks who reprised his role as Robert Langdon in Inferno, the sequel to The Davinci Code and Angels & Demons. The film did not perform well domestically, but the $75 million film managed to do OK thanks to International box office.
Kathleen Kennedy had some nice words to say about Howard,
“At Lucasfilm, we believe the highest goal of each film is to delight, carrying forward the spirit of the saga that George Lucas began 40 years ago. 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.”
Now where Lord and Miller will end up is up in the air, but rumors suggest they may have already found a home with Warner Bros.’ troubled DC Extended Universe film The Flash, which has lost multiple directors at this point.
Source: The Hollywood Reporter