The Hollywood Reporter has confirmed that Ron Howard will be taking up directing duties on the Star Wars Han Solo film after creative differences lead to the firing of Phil Lord and Chris Miller. After four months of filming script writer Lawrence Kasdan and head of Lucasfilm Kathleen Kennedy were unhappy with the tone of the film resulting in the firing of the director duo.
Howard, who directed 1995’s Apollo 13 and won an Oscar for helming 2002’s A Beautiful Mind, comes to the Han Solo film with several connections to George Lucas and the worlds of Lucasfilm. He appeared in Lucas’ 1973 breakout film American Graffiti and helmed Lucas’ 1988 pet fantasy project Willow. Howard also revealed on a podcast in 2015 that Lucas had approached him to direct the 1999 Star Wars prequel The Phantom Menace.
Though his recent movies, including Inferno and In the Heart of the Sea, have been costly ventures that underperformed at the box office, Howard is considered to be a safe choice to complete the task, someone who will ably finish the movie while being a calming presence on set.