It’s official: Ron Howard is stepping in to direct the Han Solo movie.
The 63-year-old filmmaker replaces directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller, who were fired Monday due to “creative differences.” Sources first confirmed Howard’s hiring to The Hollywood Reporter Thursday; an official announcement from Lucasfilm followed soon after.
“At Lucasfilm, we believe the highest goal of each film is to delight, carrying forward the spirit of the saga that George Lucas began forty years ago,” Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy said in a statement. “With that in mind, 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.”
Howard, who’d been approached by George Lucas to direct 1999’s Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace, won an Academy Award for directing 2001’s A Beautiful Mind. His recent feature films include 2013’s Rush, 2016’s The Beatles: Eight Days a Week and 2016’s Inferno.
On Tuesday, Kennedy announced the untitled Han Solo film would be moving forward with a directorial change. She called Lord and Miller “talented filmmakers who have assembled an incredible cast and crew,” which includes actors Emilia Clarke, Alden Ehrenreich, Donald Glover, Woody Harrelson, Thandie Newton, Joonas Suotamo and Phoebe Waller-Bridge. Filming began at Pinewood Studios in London in February, but recently, she said, “It’s become clear that we had different creative visions on this film, and we’ve decided to part ways.”
The movie was scheduled to shoot for three-and-a-half more weeks, with five weeks of reshoots built into the schedule—a common practice for blockbusters of the Star Wars caliber.
“Unfortunately, our vision and process weren’t aligned with our partners on this project. We normally aren’t fans of the phrase ‘creative differences,’ but for once this cliché is true,” Lord and Miller said. “We’re really proud of the amazing and world-class work of our cast and crew.”
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Howard will soon meet with the cast to improve morale. He will also review a rough edit of the previously shot footage to ascertain what the film needs.
The Han Solo standalone is still on target for its May 25, 2018 release date.