Update: The Star Wars website has made the official announcement that Ron Howard will be directing the Han Solo spin-off movie.
It looks like Disney doesn't want to waste any time pondering over the choice of director for the Han Solo spin-off, and might have already zeroed in on Ron Howard to board the Millennium Falcon.
In a bombshell statement, Lucasfilm reported that they've parted ways with directors Phil Lord and Christopher Miller. The speculation comes after Disney's entirely unexpected announcement yesterday, which briefly explained why the untitled Han Solo movie is now in need for a new director.
"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."
As the movie is currently approaching the end of production, it is apparent that the billion-dollar production house has to be quick on their feet if they want to save the movie from a debacle. According to Deadline, it seems that Lucasfilm is eyeing Ron Howard to helm the Han Solo spin-off, which is still set for a May 2018 release.
"Deadline hears that Ron Howard has emerged as front-runner to replace Phil Lord & Christopher Miller on the untitled Han Solo Star Wars spinoff film."
Their comments are brief and the company's sources remain anonymous, but it's unlikely that the reputable film site would give an update without being certain that Howard may take the helm. Surprisingly, this is not the first time Ron Howard has been approach to take on a Star Wars film. The Rush director was also considered to take control of the saga's first prequel, The Phantom Menace back in the '90s.
While promoting his movie In the Heart of the Sea in 2015, Howard spoke on the Happy Sad Confused podcast, sharing his thoughts about the proposal,
"He didn’t necessarily want to direct them. He told me he had talked to Robert Zemeckis, Steven Spielberg, and me. I was the third one he spoke to. They all said the same thing: “George, you should do it!” I don’t think anybody wanted to follow-up that act at the time. It was an honor, but it would’ve been too daunting."
Although the veteran director found it "daunting" to take on a #StarWars film back in 1999, a lot has changed in terms of his directorial experience. In fact, many Star Wars fans might be wishing that Howard had, in fact, helmed The Phantom Menace all those years ago. With this in mind, would Howard be a good fit to team up with Lawrence Kasdan for the untitled Han Solo project?
Can Ron Howard Steer The Millennium Falcon To Safety?
Ron Howard and George Lucas's previous collaborations, namely Willow and American Grafitti, might have influenced him to let Howard helm Episode I, but the prolific directors haven't worked together since.
After the events of the infamous prequel trilogy, things have changed quite a bit. George Lucas has relieved himself from the franchise, while Disney has brought in Star Wars legend Lawrence Kasdan to write the script for The Force Awakens and the Han Solo spin-off. In the meantime, Ron Howard has continued to create an impressive filmography, with movies like A Beautiful Mind, Cinderella Man and Frost/Nixon, which will certainly give him the confidence to be a part of this world-famous franchise.
So, among the plethora of critically acclaimed movies on Howard's resume, the one that proves he might be capable of handling another trip to space is Apollo 13. Despite the fact that the movie was set in outer-space, it didn't hinder the film's edge-of-the-seat drama, nor did it lack in terms of character development. Since Han Solo has been through various adventures, Howard's eye for detail and ability to blend action with drama might be beneficial for the Star Wars spin-off.
However, Howard's recent filmography should be taken into consideration as well. Apart from the heart-pumping race drama, Rush, he has directed the Robert Langdon trilogy and The Dilemma, neither of which will excite the majority of Star Wars fans. Then again, this could mean that it's also the perfect time for Howard to join a hugely successful franchise. Although his retelling of the search for Moby Dick failed to ignite the box office, directing the Han Solo spin-off could be the perfect antidote.
Although Howard previously turned down a Star Wars feature, the holy union of Kasdan's screenwriting and Howard's directorial expertise might be the silver lining that this turbulent installment needs. While we wait for further information on this turn of events, fans can look forward to Rian Johnson's The Last Jedi to preserve their faith in the long-running franchise.
Do you want Ron Howard to take on the Han Solo spin-off? Sound off in the comment section below!