It’s official: Ron Howard to take over Han Solo spinoff film at Disney

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Jun 22, 2017, 10:58 AM EDT

Well, that didn't take long. After learning that Phil Lord and Chris Miller have left Disney’s standalone Han Solo film earlier this week, Lucasfilm and Disney have tapped veteran filmmaker Ron Howard to step in and take over the project.

With the film already toward the back end of its shooting schedule, Variety reports Howard will start work immediately. They’ve already been shooting for a few months, and there are 4-5 weeks left on the shooting schedule (along with five more weeks of reshoots and pick-ups already on the schedule later this year). It’s unknown how much the budget will increase, or how many reshoots will be required, as that all falls on Howard’s plate to determine.

The new director will spend the next few days meeting with the cast and reviewing a rough cut of existing footage to determine what needs to be reshot or rewritten. The film stars Alden Ehrenreich as Solo, Donald Glover as Lando Calrissian, Woody Harrelson, Emilia Clarke and Thandie Newton. With Disney still keen to keep its May 25, 2018, opening date, it’s obviously doubtful anything too substantial (i.e. casting, etc.) will change this late in the game. Still, there’s no doubt Howard will be tasked with retooling the tone and story in the wake of Miller and Lord’s dismissal.

“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,” Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy said 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. Filming will resume the 10th of July.”

Howard has been a Hollywood staple for decades, and won an Oscar for directing 2002’s A Beautiful Mind. He also directed hits such as The Da Vinci Code and Apollo 13. Interestingly enough, he also helmed George Lucas’ fantasy project Willow back in 1988.

What do you think of the hire? Is Howard the right man for the job?

(Via The Hollywood Reporter, Variety)