It's official: the Han Solo movie has parted with original directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller, and Lucasfilm has handed the reins over to Ron Howard. The director of The Da Vinci Code and producer of the Arrested Development series has taken over after four and half months of shooting by his predecessors (who were best known for directing The Lego Movie), according to The Hollywood Reporter. A statement from Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy confirmed the transition.
"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,” Kennedy said. “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."
The internet's reaction to the news was a bit less enthusiastic than Kennedy's.
Directorial tastes aside, it's still a worryingly late creative changeover for a film due to hit theaters on May 25, 2018. THR says the untitled Han Solo movie was about three-quarters of the way through principal photography before creative differences between longtime Star Wars screenwriter Lawrence Kasdan and former directors Lord and Miller proved unworkable. Filming is now set to resume under Howard's direction on July 10.
Howard assumes the role under far from ideal circumstances, but his decades of experience in front of and behind the camera make him a pretty safe bet to get things back on track. We'll see if Disney and Lucasfilm keep the current May premiere date or if they push it back to December, as they did for Star Wars: The Last Jedi.
Read our full news recap of the Han Solo movie for more context, and check out the two new characters played by Benicio del Toro and Laura Dern.
Top image: Lucasfilm