Ron Howard had only been named the new director of the Untitled Han Solo Film for less than 24 hours before he found himself facing questions during an appearance at the Cannes Lions advertising and media conference. But that did give Ron Howard One thing Howard wanted to make clear from the very start was that he was a fan of the Star Wars franchise and was looking forward to the opportunity to contribute to the franchise: “I’ve been a fan forever. It’s gratifying to be asked to lend my voice to the [Star Wars] universe.”
On Thursday, Lucasfilm officially announced that Howard was being brought on-board to complete filming after media sources reported that studio president Kathleen Kennedy fired previous directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller because the duo were adding too much of a comedic aspect to the film. In response to a question about getting the job, Howard was briefly humble in his response while paying respect to the work that’s been done:
“It’s a little opportunity that came my way. So many people involved in the ‘Star Wars’ franchise are friends.” … “(re: Untitled Han Solo Film: It’s already been in production, and there’s a lot of really great work there.”
Filming on the Untitled Han Solo Film was mostly completed when Lord and Miller left the project. Howard has already started preliminary work on the film and shooting is expected to resume on July 10 (with five weeks of re-shoots scheduled for later this year).
If Howard needed to convince the audience of the legitimacy of his Star Wars pedigree, then he made a strong argument by reminding us that he knew about Star Wars before there even was a Star Wars. He spoke of conversations he had with director George Lucas in 1972 as they were filming American Graffiti where Lucas discussed his dream of making a “fun” sci-fi movie utilizing the kind of effects Stanley Kubrick revolutionized with 2001: A Space Odyssey. Years later, Howard and his wife would wait in line for two hours to see Star Wars…and then wait another ninety minutes to see it again. “I was so moved by the movie. I was transported by the movie… We literally left almost speechless.”