It’s official: Ron Howard is trading in the Apollo 11 for the Millennium Falcon. Just two days after directors Phil Lord and Christopher Miller were suddenly dropped from the Han Solo anthology Star Wars spin-off, Variety is reporting that Howard will officially take over directing duties for the remainder of the film’s shooting schedule.
Lord and Miller originally signed on to direct the Han Solo movie in July 2015, but recently shocked fans by leaving the project mid-stream, citing creative differences with Lucasfilm producers. Almost immediately, Ron Howard emerged as the frontrunner to replace them, possible because he has a history of being considered for Star Wars movies in the past. He famously turned down Star Wars Episode 1: The Phantom Menace when George Lucas considered offering him the job.
“He told me that he had talked to [Robert] Zemeckis, he talked to me, he talked to Steven Spielberg. I was the third one he spoke to,”he told The Hollywood Reporter back in 2015. “They all said the same thing: ‘George, you should just do it. This is your baby.’ Nobody wanted to follow that act I don’t think at that point. That was an honor, but it would’ve been just too daunting.”
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Clearly following Lord and Miller didn’t seem like such a huge challenge as following George Lucas for Howard. Not that this has anything to do with anyone’s relative levels of talent, of course; the film is reportedly three-quarters of the way done and only has three weeks left of shooting, as well as five weeks of pre-scheduled reshoots. It’s unclear, however, how much of what Lord and Miller filmed will make it into the final product, or how they and Howard will be credited for their efforts.
What do you think? Is Ron Howard the right guy for the gig? Tell us your thoughts in the comments below.