The Han Solo movie that Lucasfilm still can't be bothered to title will soon resume filming with a new director: Ron Howard, who starred in George Lucas's first hit film, 1973's "American Graffiti," just before that director created the "Star Wars" galaxy.
Two days ago the "Star Wars" studio surprised everyone by revealing Phil Lord and Christopher Miller were leaving the Han Solo movie after months of filming, with only three weeks reported to be left to the shoot. The next day, rumors started coming out about what went wrong -- clashes between the directors and the producer and writer -- and Ron Howard's name was put forth by Deadline as the frontrunner to step in.
Well, they were right, even if it seems like they went from the bold choice of Lord and Miller to the safe -- if very acclaimed, and professional -- choice of Ron Howard.
Here's the statement shared to official site StarWars.com:
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.
The untitled Han Solo film is slated for a May 25, 2018, release.
Sounds like everything is moving forward with the same cast and crew and script, and they are keeping the next May release date ... so how much change will really be happening? Are they starting over, or just passing the ball to Ron Howard to take them over the finish line?
The Hollywood Reporter may have answers on that; as they wrote, shortly before the Ron Howard news was made official:
Howard, sources tell The Hollywood Reporter, will meet with the actors — Alden Ehrenreich is playing the iconic smuggler, Donald Glover is playing Lando Calrissian, with Woody Harrelson, Emilia Clarke and Thandie Newton also on the roll call — to soothe a rattled set and will pore over a rough edit to see what the project has and still needs."
Fans are offering their own thoughts on the matter, as usual, getting Ron Howard trending on Twitter:
@mikefreemanNFL Ron Howard taking over the new Han Solo movie. Wonder if the phone call started with "Help me Opie Wan, you're my only hope"— bu11dog (@bu11dog) June 22, 2017
Ron Howard is now directing the Han Solo film— Jack Tinker (@jacktink) June 22, 2017
NARRATOR: He had a bad feeling about this.
Ron Howard stars in George Lucas's first hit film. 44 yrs later he's directing a prequel to George's opus. The circle is complete. #hansolo— Entertainment Tech (@HowellFPACVideo) June 22, 2017
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