After having cut his teeth on fan favorites like Night Shift and Splash, it may seem a bit disingenuous to see Ron Howard take on the likes of the Han Solo spin-off feature, but in reality, Howard's new assignment as director of the latest film in the #StarWars universe makes a whole lot of sense.
"We're thrilled to announce that Ron Howard will step in to direct the untitled Han Solo film," Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy said in a statement.
This is not the first time that Howard has been involved in George Lucas's many projects over the years — not only did he star in Lucas's breakout film American Graffiti in 1973 when he was just 19, Howard helmed Lucas's fantasy favorite Willow in 1988 and has since gone on to become one of the best loved #directors working in Hollywood today. Why is he the right guy to take on a story about one of Star Wars' best loved characters, #HanSolo?
Fascination With Space And The Fantastic
One look at Howard's considerable filmography is all anyone needs to realize that the preternaturally youthful director has always had a bit of a fascination with space and the fantasy worlds. Whether it was Willow, Cocoon (1985), Apollo 13 (1999) or even 1981's The Time Crystal (a little-known television movie that saw a teen boy being sent to ancient Egypt), it seems that Howard's career keeps bringing him back to the world of sci-fi and fantasy. The Star Wars universe is not a far cry from the fantastic, with its rolling cast of incredible aliens, and it certainly has embraced the world of science fiction.
Couple the way science fiction continues to be a theme in Howard's life with his ongoing connection to Lucas, and it's easy to see why Howard is nothing but a logical choice to take on this project in the Star Wars solo films.
The Midas Touch
While Ron Howard has been generally known for comedies and dramas instead of sci-fi, he has the one thing that studios regularly seek in their directors: the Midas touch. Outside of a brief misstep with In The Heart Of The Sea, all of Howard's films have been several degrees of successful, always raking in several million dollars and generally winning awards of various stripes.
There does not appear to be many (if any) complaints regarding the storied director taking over the reins of the movie, either.
While there are some who question the shift to Ron Howard resulting in a significant tonal shift for the movie, Howard's track record — and impressive box office receipts — could be another reason why Disney looked to him to take on the project. For sure, Howard certainly has the Midas touch when it comes to making successful films, but there's also a significant trust factor that Howard has garnered due to his track record that cannot be denied.
What's To Come?
There will almost certainly be commentary from all sides when it comes to Ron Howard taking on the directorship of the untitled Han Solo movie. Love Ron Howard or hate him (and most really, really like the guy), this choice by Disney to helm the project is certainly an interesting one. It's also the right one; he's got the work ethic, the vision and the determination to ensure the work his longtime friend and colleague started four decades ago will continued to be honored.
What are your thoughts about Ron Howard taking over the Han Solo film?