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Han Solo movie: Ron Howard replaces Phil Lord and Chris Miller as director of Star Wars spin-off

Phil Lord and Chris Miller were dropped from the project with only weeks left of the production 

Clarisse Loughrey
Thursday 22 June 2017 16:03 BST

After much speculation, Ron Howard has been named as the new director of the untitled Han Solo film.

He takes over from The LEGO Movie duo Phil Lord and Chris Miller (via The Hollywood Reporter), who were suddenly let go from the project amidst rumours of a set rife with tension; reportedly clashing with both Lucasfilm head Kathleen Kennedy and screenwriter Lawrence Kasdan.

These same reports also seem to detail that the source of the tension lies in Lord and Miller's directorial style, favouring a more improvisational style towards their work; an approach that doesn't seem to have found a warm welcome with Disney.

Roping in a veteran, broadly-appealing director like Ron Howard seems to support the idea that Disney is concerned with the Han Solo film swerving too far away from its core brand; whether their fears are legitimate is another matter entirely.

Howard may never have directed a Star Wars film before, but he did helm George Lucas' pet fantasy project Willow back in 1988 and was even approached by Lucas to take on 1999's The Phantom Menace.

"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,” said Kathleen Kennedy in a 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."

Howard will reportedly now meet with the film's cast - Alden Ehrenreich, Donald Glover, Woody Harrelson, Emilia Clarke, and Thandie Newton - to look over the rough edit and examine what still needs to be done. Filming will then resume on 10 July.

The untitled Han Solo film is set for release 25 May, 2018.

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