Getty Images/J.B. Lacroix(LOS ANGELES) — The Millennium Falcon has a new pilot: Ron Howard has stepped in to direct the upcoming untitled Han Solo film, Lucasfilm announced Thursday. The news comes two days after The LEGO Movie co-directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller parted ways with the project over creative differences.
In a statement, Lucasfilm noted, “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. Filming will resume the 10th of July.”
Oscar-winner Howard has been a part of George Lucas’ galaxy far, far away for years. He starred in Lucas’ American Graffiti, in which Harrison Ford had a small part, and several of his co-stars auditioned for various Star Wars roles. Years later, he directed the fantasy epic Willow for Lucasfilm.
Howard — who went on to win Best Picture and Best Director for A Beautiful Mind — recently admitted Lucas wanted him to direct Star Wars: Episode I — The Phantom Menace. Calling that offer “an honor” but ultimately “too daunting,” Howard became one of the close group of filmmaker friends whom Lucas used as a sounding board while he worked on the Star Wars prequels.
In 2012, Lucas sold Lucasfilm and the Star Wars universe to Disney, the parent company of ABC News.
The Han Solo movie, which stars Alden Ehrenreich as a younger version of the scoundrel famously played by Harrison Ford in the Star Wars movies, is still slated for a May 25, 2018, release.
Although few details are known about the movie, we do know that Atlanta star Donald Glover will play the young Lando Calrissian, and Woody Harrelson has been cast as unlikely mentor for the pilot and Rebellion hero-to-be. Game of Thrones star Emilia Clarke is also in the cast.
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