Ron Howard, whose directing credits include “Apollo” “13” and “Rush”, has confirmed his appointment as director of the upcoming “Star Wars Han Solo” spin-off. Howard replaces “The Lego Movie” and “21 Jump” Street directors Phil Lord and Christopher Miller, who left halfway through production citing "creative differences."
"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 Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy in a statement. "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."
"I'm beyond grateful to add my voice to the Star Wars Universe after being a fan since 5/25/77," Howard wrote on Twitter. "I hope to honour the great work already done and help deliver on the promise of a Han Solo film."
The directors of the upcoming “Star Wars Han Solo” spin-off have abandoned the project halfway through production. Phil Lord and Christopher Miller—whose directorial credits include “The Lego Movie” and “21 Jump Street”—have cited "creative differences" for leaving the production, which stars Alden Ehrenreich as a young version of Han Solo.
"Unfortunately, our vision and process weren't aligned with our partners on this project," Lord and Miller said in a statement. "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."
"Phil Lord and Christopher Miller are talented film-makers who have assembled an incredible cast and crew," said Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy. "But it's become clear that we had different creative visions on this film, and we’ve decided to part ways."
Lord and Miller signed up to direct the Han Solo spin-off in 2015. Filming of the as-yet-untitled (but codenamed "Red Cup") movie began at London's Pinewood Studios in February. While no replacement director has been named, the film is reportedly still on track for its May 25, 2018 release.
Lord and Miller's tongue-in-cheek sensibility was largely the reason they were hired for the project, according to a report by Variety. However, the pair faced conflicts with Producer Kathleen Kennedy and co-writer and Executive Producer Lawrence Kasdan, who wrote the scripts for “Empire Strikes Back” and “The Force Awakens”. The directors did not leave voluntarily but were fired by Lucasfilm, the report claims.
"Miller and Lord were stunned to find that they were not being granted freedom to run the production in the manner that they were accustomed to. They balked at Kennedy’s tight control on the set," reads the Variety report. "Kennedy did not approve of their shooting style and process of interacting with actors and crew. They weren’t given the leeway to do what they had to do."