Earlier this week, it was announced that directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller (21 and 22 Jump Street, The Lego Movie) were no longer directing the upcoming Han Solo standalone film. Despite being deep into filming, there seemed to be some dissension brewing in the Star Wars camp. The decision, however, was based off of creative differences and not from ill feelings.
“Phil Lord and Christopher Miller are talented filmmakers who have assembled an incredible cast and crew, but it’s become clear that we had different creative visions on this film, and we’ve decided to part ways. A new director will be announced soon,” said Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy.
A new director most certainly was announced, and it’s a decision that has fans feeling more optimistic than ever. Ron Howard, the acclaimed director of such films as Apollo 13, A Beautiful Mind, The Da Vinci Code, and Rush has grabbed the helm and will see the film through to completion.
This wouldn’t be the first time that Star Wars movies have faced director issues, as Chronicle and Fantastic Four director Josh Trank was set to direct Rogue One before he was replaced with Gareth Edwards. Unlike the case with Josh Trank, though, the director issue with Han Solo was not during pre-production, but four months into shooting. Replacing directors that late into principal photography is nearly unprecedented.
Though nothing official has been stated, the change was likely due to the fact that Lord and Miller – who have made a career in comedy – brought perhaps a bit too much humor into the film. It’s very likely that the disagreement fell to tone between humor and drama, with the drama-ccentric Ron Howard stepping in to create a middle ground.
“I’m beyond grateful to add my voice to the Star Wars Universe after being a fan since 5/25/77,” Howard tweeted. “I hope to honor the great work already done & help deliver on the promise of a Han Solo film.”
Of course, this isn’t Howard’s first connection to Lucasfilm. He acted in the George Lucas-directed American Graffiti back in 1973 as well as directing his pet project Willow (which also starred everybody’s favorite ewok Warwick Davis).
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