Ron Howard Steps In To Direct Star Wars Han Solo Spinoff Film

LOS ANGELES (WJZ/AP) — There was a disturbance in the force earlier this week as the Star Wars spinoff film about a young Han Solo lost its directors.

Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy said Tuesday that the spinoff was parting ways with directors Phil Lord and Christopher Miller due to different creative visions on the film.

Now, Ron Howard has stepped in to fill the role.

Howard’s director credits include Apollo 13, A Beautiful Mind, The Davinci Code, Frost/Nixon and Angels & Demons.

Lord and Miller had been filming the untitled project in London since January 2017 with stars Alden Ehrenreich as the young Han Solo and Donald Glover as Lando Calrissian. The supporting cast includes Woody Harrelson, Emilia Clarke and Thandie Newton.

“Unfortunately, our vision and process weren’t aligned with our partners on this project. We normally aren’t fans of the phrase ‘creative differences’ but for once this cliché is true,” the directors said in a joint statement Tuesday. “We are really proud of the amazing and world-class work of our cast and crew.”

Lord and Miller have developed a stellar reputation in Hollywood for their smart and profitable adaptations of creaky or impossible properties like “The Lego Movie” and “21 Jump Street” and its sequel. Anticipation was high for what they would do with the Han Solo film, which was written by Star Wars vet Lawrence Kasdan and his son Jon Kasdan.

Over the past six months the directors have been widely engaged on social media, drumming up interest in the project — the second Star Wars anthology film after “Rogue One.” The anthology films are considered separate from the “main trilogy,” which includes “The Force Awakens” and the upcoming “The Last Jedi.”

Lucasfilm has had issues with directors before. In 2015 the company parted ways with director Josh Trank, who had been working on another Star Wars anthology film. They have yet to slate a replacement director.

The untitled Han Solo film is still slated for a May 2018 release.

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(TM and Copyright 2017 CBS and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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