It did not take long for Disney and Lucasfilm to find a new director for its second standalone film serving as a spinoff from the traditional Star Wars story. Just days after parting ways with directors Phil Lord and Christopher Miller, Lucasfilm has announced Ron Howard will take over in the director’s chair for the spinoff film focusing on a younger Han Solo.
“At Lucasfilm, we believe the highest goal of each film is to delight, carrying forward the spirit of the saga that George Lucas began forty years ago,” Kathleen Kennedy, president of Lucasfilm, said in a released statement. “With that in mind, we’re thrilled to announce that Ron Howard will step in to direct the untitled Han Solo film. We have a wonderful script, an incredible cast and crew, and the absolute commitment to make a great movie. Filming will resume the 10th of July.”
Howard, a standout TV star in his early days who has gone on to have a very successful career in film directing, is no stranger to working with Disney. Howard was seen in the 1970 Disney film The Wild Country and later directed a handful of films produced under Disney’s Touchstone Pictures label; Splash, Ransom, and The Alamo. Howard has also worked with Lucasfilm before by acting in American Graffiti and More American Graffiti, and directing the 1988 film Willow. This will be Howard’s first work in the Star Wars franchise.
There is no question that Disney and Lucasfilm have an accomplished director with a solid eye for what makes a good film in the director’s chair for the upcoming Han Solo film, but having him jump in at this point in time is merely a concern for the consistency of the project. The film is scheduled for a release on May 25, 2018, which leaves precious little time for the film-making process to allow for suitable editing and additional shoots if necessary. Any film suffers that kind of problem when there is a change of directors in the middle of the production.
This doesn’t mean the Han Solo film is destined to fail, as there should be some faith in the Lucasfilm story team to keep things running smoothly and in Howard’s ability as a filmmaker to make some good decisions moving forward. Of course, it should be noted that the first spinoff standalone film in the Star Wars franchise, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, suffered a similar fate with leadership issues in the production of the film causing some issues with the final product. The film was fine by most accounts but was not without flaws.
May the force be with you, Ron Howard. You’re our only hope.
[Star Wars/Photo: Getty Images]