On the heels of DC-area moms taking their children to last week’s Awesome Con all dressed up like Luke and Leia, Han Solo and FN-2187—one of the galaxy’s most powerful movie producers says, "You're hired," to Ron Howard and tapped him to direct the next Star Wars film.
The Oscar-winning director is no stranger to the LucasFilm universe. The Happy Days alum and former child star (remember Opie?) also acted in 1973’s American Graffiti directed by George Lucas. Later, Howard called the shots behind the camera on Willow, a 1988 movie produced by Lucas.
This comes just two days after LucasFilm’s producer Kathleen Kennedy relieved the previous directors, Phil Lord and Chris Miller, of their duties, Phil Lord and Chris Miller. They are the dynamic directing duo known for The Lego Movie and 21 Jump Street. The shake up comes pretty late in the game for the yet-to-be titled Han Solo Star Wars Anthology Film, according to Variety.
“Their forced departure in the middle of filming was a highly unusual situation,” says an unnamed Variety source.
Lord and Miller spent four and half months at the helm of the project before the directorial Death Star exploded on set. Kennedy made a public statement on the exit chalking it up to “different creative visions.”
There are still several more weeks of filming that need to take place on the untitled Hans Solo film, plus an additional few weeks of re-shoots later this summer, according to Variety.
Howard’s first order of action in the director’s chair is to meet with the cast after an unsettling few weeks of production. They include Donald Glover, Woody Harrelson, Thandie Newton, Alden Ehrenreich and Emilia Clarke, among others.
Filming is set to resume in early July, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
Markette Sheppard is host of Great Day Washington, the lifestyle morning show on WUSA 9. She is also a wife, mother of a rambunctious 3-year-old and avid movie lover. You can see more of her film previews and reviews weekdays at 9 am.