It’s safe to say that few people in the entertainment industry have had a career like Ron Howard‘s. As an actor, Howard has starred on two iconic television shows–The Andy Griffith Show and Happy Days–and as a director, he has worked over several decades to become one of the most in demand and acclaimed visionaries of his generation. From classic comedies like Splash, Parenthood, and EdTV to Oscar caliber dramas that include Apollo 13, A Beautiful Mind, and Cinderella Man to edge-of-your-seat thrillers like Ransom and The Da Vinci Code movies, the reach of Howard’s work includes many genres and pools of unparalleled talent.
But for me, there’s one movie that stands above the rest and holds a very special place in my heart: Willow. Based on a story by George Lucas and starring Warwick Davis, Val Kilmer, Joanne Whalley, and Jean Marsh, for me, Willow is a fantasy epic filled with laughs, scares, and pure magic. It’s become a running joke around the Nerdist offices that Willow by some weird coincidence makes its way into a lot of my junket interviews: from Chris Hemsworth and Jessica Chastain talking about how the 1988 adventure influenced them while making The Huntsman: Winter’s War to Bryce Dallas Howard comparing the dragons featured in this summer’s Pete’s Dragon with the two-headed monster from her dad’s movie. So naturally, when it came time for me to sit down with Mr. Howard to discuss Inferno, based on the Dan Brown novel of the same name and starring Tom Hanks and Felicity Jones, I had to take the opportunity to talk to him about it.
Much to my delight, Howard seemed to remember the film fondly and discuss what he learned while making the movie. He also mentioned that now that Disney happens to own Lucasfilm, the future of the franchise rests in their hands. And he’d like to return to that universe just as much as I would, but maybe in a different medium…
Inferno, starring Tom Hanks, Felicity Jones, Ben Foster, and Omar Sy, is in theaters this Friday.
Images: Lucasfilm/ Disney