There was a temporary disturbance in the Force the last few days after word leaked that directors Phil Lord and Christopher Miller had been ousted from the filming of the forthcoming Han Solo standalone film that was already six months into production.
The last extensive interview with the directors was back in February when the filmmaking duo commented, “Watching such inspired people from all over the world, with such unique voices, come together for the sole purpose of making art, is nothing short of miraculous. We can’t think of anything funny to say, because we just feel really moved, and really lucky.”
Despite what sounded like a harmonious experience, the rift occurred because the directors supposedly had a drastically different interpretation of the character than producer, Kathleen Kennedy, and screenwriter, Lawrence Kasdan (who wrote The Empire Strikes Back and Return Of The Jedi.
“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,” said Lord and Miller.
As Deadline noted, “It’s not the first time Disney has had turbulence in the director’s chair as rumors had writer Tony Gilroy directing the extensive re-shoots on the Gareth Edwards-directed first Star Wars spinoff Rogue One.
With an anticipated release date less than a year away, producers had to move quickly to secure a new director and landed on Ron Howard — the twice Oscar-nominated helmer who won the highest honor in 2002 for A Beautiful Mind.
According to LucaFilm’s official statement, “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. 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 still untitled Han Solo film hits theaters May 25, 2018.