In an exclusive to The Hollywood Reporter, it looks like Lucasfilm Chief Kathleen Kennedy has found a director to replace the departing Phil Lord and Chris Miller from the Han Solo film.
It’s being reported that Academy Award winning director and Hollywood legend Ron Howard will be taking over directing duties of the next film in the Star Wars expanded universe. Starwars.com is also confirming the news that the director is getting set to meet with actors Alden Ehrenreich (Han Solo), Donald Glover (Lando Calrissian), Woody Harrelson, Emilia Clarke, Thandie Newton and others to ease any tensions the actors feel about the shakeup over the departing directors.
No stranger to both big budget films and genre films, Howard is a highly successful director with a long resume of projects including Cocoon, Willow, Backdraft, Apollo 13, A Beautiful Mind (for which he won Best Director), The DaVinci Code and his most recent film In the Heart of the Sea starring Chris Hemsworth (Thor: Rangnarok) and Tom Holland (Spider-Man: Homecoming).
He has a history with both George Lucas and Lucasfilm having starred in Lucas’ American Graffiti as well as directing Willow for Lucasfilm in 1988. He also has a history with Star Wars in that he was approached by George Lucas to direct The Phantom Menace back in 1999.
The move is seen as a safe one to right the ship of the production and Howard does have enough of a pedigree to be able to step in and get the film done. It will be interesting to see what his final vision of the film looks like when it comes out next year.