The future of the Star Wars universe on the big screen is relatively uncertain, but there have been rumors that Lucasfilm is hitting the pause button on future standalone spin-offs. Disney and Lucasfilm did respond to these reports saying that they have multiple projects in development, even though they didn't elaborate on what those projects are specifically and when they could arrive. Now, Solo director Ron Howard has chimed in revealing that he doesn't buy into the idea that those spin-offs are indefinitely off the table.
Ron Howard spent the last year of his life working with Disney and Lucasfilm on Solo: A Star Wars Story after taking over for the directing duo of Phil Lord and Chris Miller. They were fired by Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy near the end of production. Howard walked into an ugly situation and did an enviable job of putting out a potential dumpster fire. In any case, he's certainly got some sort of insider knowledge on the future of the Star Wars franchise and, while approached on the street by TMZ recently, he revealed his thoughts on the recent rumors. Here's what he had to say.
I don't think that's entirely accurate. I think that was reported, but I don't think that's exactly what I understand. Yeah, and I think the fans, look everybody at Lucasfilm and Disney really cares about the fans. And so, you know, I think it's an ongoing process of like discovering what it can be and what it can all add up to. So, it's really a process. And I like the fact that personally that they take some chances, take some risks, and see how people respond to it."
There's something admirable about Ron Howard's composure. The interviewer pressed him, asking about how Howard feels when a movie doesn't meet expectations, clearly getting at the fact that Solo underperformed in a big way, to which the director cheerily replied, "This movie did really well for me." He acknowledged that the economics of a movie that cost at least $200 million to make only bringing in $354 million worldwide don't exactly work, which is why rumors of Lucasfilm hitting the pause button on spin-offs like the Obi-Wan movie and the Boba Fett movie made sense. But Howard went on to praise his experience, the fans and the positive reception from many despite the fact that Solo didn't bring in what other Star Wars movies have.
What we know for sure is that Star Wars 9 is gearing up for production and that it will be released in December 2019. Beyond that, no movies have confirmed release dates, but Lucasfilm has officially announced that The Last Jedi director Rian Johnson is working on a new trilogy and that Game of Thrones creators David Benioff and D.B. Weiss are working on a series of movies. If Ron Howard is to be believed, projects like the Obi-Wan movie may well still be in the cards too, even if it heads to Disney streaming service instead of theaters. This news comes to us courtesy of TMZ.