Ron Howard Officially Steps In As ‘Han Solo’ Director

The drama around the Han Solo movie has gotten weird, fast. The directing team of Phil Lord and Christopher Miller have taken the unusual step of leaving the production during shooting over “creative differences,” and that’s left Disney scrambling for a director to take over. And they’ve found one, in friend of George Lucas, Ron Howard.

Howard was rumored for the job, but Disney made it official today. Howard, of course, has directed a string of beloved movies like Apollo 13 and he’s also a powerful Hollywood producer, being one of the minds behind Imagine Entertainment. In general, that Howard chose to step in as the ringer on a Star Wars movie raises some fairly interesting questions about what’s going on at Disney. That Howard was on tap for the job implies that Disney had been talking to him well before this happened. But, as we’ve noted, Howard nearly directed The Phantom Menace, and he’s a Lucas friend from way back: Howard was one of a legion of actors who auditioned for American Graffiti and got the lead role of Steve. So this might be George asking a friend for a favor.

Either way, Howard’s got his work cut out for him. Han Solo is in the middle of shooting and has a release date of May 2018.

(via The Hollywood Reporter)