Just one day after Ron Howard officially signed on to direct LucasFilm's Han Solo: A Star Wars Story, the filmmaker speaks out about taking this coveted job for the first time. Howard appeared at the Cannes Lions advertising and media conference in France today, after officially coming in to replace departing Han Solo directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller, who were fired by LucasFilm over vast creative differences. Here's what Ron Howard had to say at the conference earlier today.
"It's a little opportunity that came my way. I've been a fan forever. It's gratifying to be asked to lend my voice to the Star Wars universe."
Variety reports that Ron Howard has already started working on the Han Solo spin-off, with production scheduled to resume on July 10. There are already five weeks of reshoots built into the schedule that will take place later on this year at an unspecified date. Here's what he had to say about the material that has already been shot for Han Solo: A Star Wars Story.
"So many people involved in the Star Wars franchise are friends. It's already been in production, and there's a lot of really great work there."
The director also spoke about how director George Lucas discussed his plans for a "fun sci-fi film," while he was starring in the filmmaker's American Graffiti alongside the actor who would go on to become Han Solo, Harrison Ford. The director added that, when the first Star Wars movie came out on May 25, 1977, he waited in line for over two hours to see the film with his wife. Since they were both so inspired after seeing the movie, they got back in line and waited another 90 minutes to see the movie again. Ron Howard also took to Twitter last night, to release a statement about taking over on this highly-anticipated project.
"I'm beyond grateful to add my voice to the Star Wars Universe after being a fan since 5/25/77. I hope to honor the great work already done & help deliver on the promise of a Han Solo film."
Aside from "creative differences," no further explanation was given for Lord and Miller's departure, although there were reports that the directors were portraying Han Solo as a "comedic personality," which didn't sit well with Kathleen Kennedy. Other sources claimed there was friction immediately between the filmmakers, who were reportedly surprised they weren't given the same level of creative freedom they have enjoyed throughout their careers. Regardless, Ron Howard now has to step in and try to put together a movie that will make Star Wars fans proud, with LucasFilm keeping the May 25, 2018 release date.
After it was announced that Phil Lord and Chris Miller would be leaving the project, with reportedly just a few weeks left in production, LucasFilm president Kathleen Kennedy announced that a director would be announced soon. Ron Howard was mentioned as the front runner within hours of Lord and Miller's departure, while other candidates were mentioned such as Lawrence Kasdan, who co-wrote the Han Solo: A Star Wars Story script with his son Jon Kasdan, and Joe Johnston, who started his career working on visual effects for the first three Star Wars movies. Take a look at Ron Howard's tweets below, as we wait for more details on Han Solo: A Star Wars Story.