Ron Howard 'beyond grateful' to join Star Wars universe as new Han Solo movie director

Ben Bussey
UK Movies Writer
Ron Howard, new director of the Star Wars Han Solo movie (credit: WENN)

Veteran filmmaker Ron Howard has responded graciously to being handed the directorial reins at the eleventh hour on the troubled ‘Star Wars’ Han Solo movie.

‘Star Wars’ fans are still reeling from the news that Lucasfilm fired co-directors Phil Lord and Christopher Miller mere weeks before production was completed on the sci-fi prequel, which casts Alden Ehrenreich as a younger incarnation of the loveable rogue made famous by Harrison Ford.

63-year old Howard – a director with 24 features to his name, and one Best Director Oscar for 2001’s ‘A Beautiful Mind’ – took to Twitter to put fans at ease by stressing his own love for the franchise.

The project arrives at a good time for Howard, as his most recent films – ‘Rush,’ ‘In the Heart of the Sea,’ ‘Inferno’ – were not particularly big hits.

This, of course, is hardly Howard’s first dealing with Lucasfilm. As well as starring in George Lucas’s early film ‘American Graffiti’ at the height of his ‘Happy Days’ fame, Howard later called the shots on 1988 Lucasfilm fantasy adventure ‘Willow.’

Joanne Whalley, Val Kilmer and Warwick Davis in Ron Howard’s 1988 Lucasfilm production ‘Willow’ (credit: 20th Century Fox/Lucasfilm)

It has been reported that Lord and Miller (directors of ‘The Lego Movie’ and ’21/22 Jump Street’) had been taking too comedic an approach for Lucasfilm boss Kathleen Kennedy’s liking, and were straying too far from Lawrence Kasdan’s original script.

It remains to be seen whether Howard will ultimately be credited as the sole director of the as-yet untitled ‘Han Solo’ movie, or named alongside Lord and Miller. The situation seems quite unprecedented, particularly on a project as high-profile as this.

The Han Solo ‘Star Wars’ movie is scheduled to open in UK cinemas on 25 May 2018.

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