With the news that directors Phil Lord and Christopher Miller had abruptly exited the upcoming Han Solo film due to “creative differences,” Star Wars fans began to panic and have Jar Jar Binks flashbacks. After having two good to great Star Wars films in a row, this kind of turmoil is certainly cause for concern. While Disney may try to assure everyone that everything is fine, everything is not fine.
As the film is already months into shooting, Disney is clearly looking to find a replacement fast, and according to Deadline, the rumor is that veteran director Ron Howard is the frontrunner to take the reins. While it was recently announced that Howard would be taking on the adaptation of the best seller Hillbilly Elegy, but Disney may just back a money truck up to his house in an attempt to change his mind. According to Hollywood Reporter writer Borys Kit, Captain America: The First Avenger‘s Joe Johnston and longtime Star Wars writer Lawrence Kasdan are also being bandied about as potentials.
This isn’t the first time that Howard has been connected to the Star Wars franchise, as he missed a bullet by turning down The Phantom Menace. According to Howard, the project was “too daunting.”
“He [George Lucas] didn’t necessarily want to direct them. 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. 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.”
Telling the backstory of such a beloved character is also quite a task, but perhaps less daunting that restarting a long dormant franchise. We’ll have to wait and see until Disney officially confirms the news.