‘Star Wars: Han Solo’: Ron Howard, Joe Johnston Emerge as Candidates to Take Over Directing

     June 21, 2017

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Last night, we learned that directors Phil Lord and Christopher Miller had been fired from the Star Wars Han Solo spinoff due to creative differences. With a May 2018 release date still on the books, Lucasfilm is expected to move quickly to find their replacement, but who’s going to take the gig?

According to THR, Ron Howard (Inferno) and Joe Johnston (Captain America: The First Avenger) have both emerged as names to possibly take control of the project. Neither one is currently filming anything, although Howard is attached to adapt the bestselling memoir Hillbilly Elegy and Johnston is on board to direct the Chronicles of Narnia sequel/reboot The Silver Chair. Both directors are veterans of the industry, and would likely play ball with producer Kathleen Kennedy in making sure the studio’s vision reached the screen in a timely and efficient manner.

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Image via Lucasfilm

Other sources suggest that co-writer and executive producer Lawrence Kasdan could come in to direct since he already knows what needs to be fixed, but as THR points out, “That move could be complicated by DGA rules preventing someone already working on a film taking over for a director that is being replaced except for a short-term emergency.”

What’s clear is that whomever takes over for Lord and Miller will not only have their work cut out for them—they have to finish shooting and then also oversee reshoots in addition to post-production—but also someone who’s willing to work inside the system and make the movie that the studio wants. There aren’t going to be any creative firebrands coming down the line to take over Han Solo. That’s not to say the movie will be bad, but rather they’re looking for a competent journeyman who will carry the project across the finish line with minimal drama.

The untitled Han Solo film opens May 25, 2018, and stars Alden Ehrenreich as the intergalactic rogue alongside Donald Glover as Lando Calrissian and Joonas Suotamo as Chewbacca. Woody Harrelson, Emilia Clarke, Thandie Newton, and Fleabag creator/star Phoebe Waller-Bridge also star.


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