As a director, Ron Howard’s had his share of commercial successes over the years (Cocoon, Splash, Apollo 13, just to name a few), but did you know he passed on the chance of helming a movie set in a galaxy far, far away? Also, have you ever wonder why he’s never directed a superhero movie during his long career?
During a podcast with Happy Sad Confused while out promoting his new movie In the Heart of the Sea, starring Thor's Chris Hemsworth and the new Spider-Man, Tom Holland, Howard revealed that George Lucas had offered him the opportunity to helm The Phantom Menace, but that he turned him down. If you’re scratching your head as to why on earth Ron Howard passed on the chance to direct a Star Wars movie, here’s why.
“He told me he had talked to Robert Zemeckis, Steven Spielberg, and me. I was the third one he spoke to. They all said the same thing: “George, you should do it!” I don’t think anybody wanted to follow-up that act at the time. It was an honor, but it would’ve been too daunting.”
Fair enough. Yet one has to wonder how The Phantom Menace might have turned out if Ron Howard had actually decided to take the gig instead of George Lucas. After this interesting bit of info, Howard then discussed the fact that he’s never directed a superhero film, and why he’s turned down offers to do so over the years.
“I’ve had opportunities over the years [to make superhero movies]. I really feel like you shouldn’t make a movie as a kind of exercise. You have to be all the way in. I was never a comic book guy. I like the movies when I see them, especially the origin stories. I never felt like I could be on the set, at 3 o’clock in the morning, tired, with 10 important decisions to make, and know, intuitively, what the story needs. For me, I’d be copycatting and not inventing. I’ve never said yes to one.”
I don't know about you, but I'm really curious to learn which comic-book movies he's turned down. What do you think of Ron Howard’s reasons for refusing to play with superheroes on the big screen? In the meanwhile, you can catch In the Heart of the Sea in movie theaters on Dec. 11.