After yesterday’s surprising news that Disney and Lucasfilm had parted ways with directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller, The Hollywood Reporter has broken the news that Ron Howard (A Beautiful Mind) has taken over. Howard was revealed to be the front-runner yesterday.
The split between Lord, Miller and Lucasfilm came from disagreements over the film’s tone. It was reported that screenwriter Lawrence Kasdan wasn’t happy with Lord and Miller’s interpretation of the Han Solo character, and their “their comedic sensibility and improvisational style”. Lucasfilm’s Kathleen Kennedy agreed, leading to their departure from the project this past Monday.
Howard will be meeting with the film’s stars -Alden Ehrenreich, Donald Glover, Woody Harrelson, Emilia Clarke and Thandie Newton – today, with THR describing it as a “rattled set”. He is also set to look at a rough cut to determine what needs to be done ahead of production resuming on July 10th.
UPDATE: Here’s the official announcement from Lucasfilm:
“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.”
Ron Howard has a lot of connections to George Lucas, appearing in the director’s American Graffiti and he was even approached with the chance to direct Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace.
The still untitled Han Solo movie has around four weeks left of production, and five weeks of planned reshoots. It will be interesting to see how the Director’s Guild of America handle this situation and if Howard will be given full credit, or joint credit with Lord and Miller.
Han Solo stars Alden Ehrenreich (Hail, Caesar!) as the famous smuggler, Donald Glover (Atlanta) as Lando Calrissian, Woody Harrelson (War for the Planet of the Apes) as Beckett (Solo’s mentor), Joonas Suotamo as Chewbacca and Phoebe Waller-Bridge (Fleabag) as a droid. Emilia Clarke (Game of Thrones), Thandie Newton (Westworld), Ian Kenny (Sing Street) and Michael K. Williams (The Night Of) have been cast in unrevealed roles.