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It's an unbelievable week to be a Star Wars fan. The directors of the upcoming Han Solo movie were fired in the middle of filming. However, just as quickly, a replacement has now been hired. After being reported as the front-runner for the job, it has now been confirmed that Ron Howard is being brought in to finish filming. The movie reportedly has three weeks left in principal photography and also has reshoots built into the schedule.
Lucasfilm has officially confirmed the news via the official Star Wars website. A deal being signed quickly to replace Phil Lord and Chris Miller, who earlier this week left the Han Solo movie due to "creative differences" with Lucasfilm, will likely go a long way to minimizing the damage to the schedule that the exit would have caused. Ron Howard will clearly need time to get up to speed, but the sooner he gets started, the faster he'll be able to get to work. The statement also confirms that the release date remains unchanged, which means Howard is on a tight deadline as the film is set to hit theaters next May.
While little has been confirmed about the exit of Phil Lord and Chris Miller, the word is that the directors were clashing with screenwriter Lawrence Kasdan over the movie. Kasdan felt the pair were not sticking to the script as much as they should have been and were taking the film in a direction different than what Lucasfilm was looking for. Lucasfilm chief Kathleen Kennedy had to pick a side between the two different sides of creative, and she chose the writer of Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back over the directors, leaving the movie without a hand to steer it.
Ron Howard is an interesting choice to take over Han Solo. Howard is clearly accomplished; he's won Oscars for directing movies like A Beautiful Mind and has some genre experience, as well as experience with working on George Lucas' ideas, thanks to Willow. Regardless, the director is in what we'd have to call a slump in recent years as his last few films, like Inferno and In the Heart of the Sea, have failed to inspire critics or audiences.
With three weeks of filming plus reshoots to oversee, it's clear that Ron Howard will have plenty of opportunities to make the Han Solo movie his own, though it will be interesting to see how much of Phil Lord and Chris Miller's original work remains. One thing we can be fairly certain of is that the final film that we see will be a fairly faithful adaptation of Lawrence Kasdan's script. The as yet entitled Han Solo movie is set for release May 25, 2018.