Paul Bettany is saying good-bye to the set of Han Solo this weekend, as he heads back to Atlanta to finish his part on Avengers 4. The second Star Wars spin-off is going longer than anyone expected, as shooting hit a major hiccup when directors Chris Miller and Phil Lord were fired midway through production. Director Ron Howard stepped in to take over, and he brought his old pal Bettany to help him out. Bettany wasn't on set long. But his role is being called 'important'.

Ron Howard and Paul Bettany parted ways publicly via Twitter, using social media to share one last set photo of the actor in full costume. And it appears that both Han Solo and Land Calrissian will take some style tips from Bettany's character. Ron Howard says this.

"Had to say goodbye to my friend Paul Bettany today. Another terrific performance from a world class talent."

Paul Bettany was quick to respond in kind. He offered these words.

"Ron Howard you're too kind. I had the best time watching you make it all look easy. Love ya."

Paul Bettany's role in Han Solo hasn't been revealed yet. It has never been officially confirmed, but it's believed that he is taking over the role once occupied by Micheal K. Williams. The character has never been fully unveiled, but it's believed that Williams, who had to leave due to scheduling conflicts after the first two directors got fired, was playing a CGI motion capture character who was part human and part animal.

The shoot needed a quick replacement, and as Bettany is friends with Howard and already immersed in Disney's Avengers 4, he slid in quick and easy as a replacement. Though, it is said that once Paul Bettany arrived on set, the character was changed from an alien into a human. Though there shouldn't be any 'whitewash' controversy. This is a new character. And Paul Bettany was chosen more out of necessity and the fact that he's a great actor than anything else.

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Paul Bettany began work on Han Solo in early September. So he's only been on set for a few weeks, with his role not taking up much time. And it's likely that a lot of coverage was already shot with the other actors when Michael K. Williams was on set, as Ron Howard has noted that they will salvage as much already shot material as they can.

Han Solo is the third movie Ron Howard and Paul Bettany have shot together. They also worked on the Oscar-winning drama A Beautiful Mind and The Da Vinci Code. Howard has been teasing Bettany on social media, along with other not-so-revealing reveals from set without spoiling anything. This photo does give us a better look at Bettany's costume and a small creature who has been captured in put in a glass bell jar. From the back, it almost looks like a stop-motion Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer from the classic Christmas special, and it has a very 'Collector" vibe from Guardians of the Galaxy.

Ron Howard is also working with previous leading man Warwick Davis on Han Solo. The pair shot the Lucasfilm sci-fi fantasy Willow together way back in 1988. And Howard is promising a signature cameo from his brother Clint Howard. We'll finally get to see everything come together when Han Solo opens May 25, 2018.

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B. Alan Orange