This Director Will Replace Lord & Miller On The Han Solo ‘Star Wars’ Spinoff

by Ani Bundel

The world was rocked on Tuesday night when, with less than a month to go in filming, it was announced the directing team of Phil Lord and Christopher Miller (henceforth "Lord & Miller") would be stepping down from their directors' chairs on the next stand-alone Star Wars production.

Other than perhaps explaining why said movie still does not have an official title, nothing about what just happened made sense. Lord & Miller, who are responsible for such films as The Lego Movie, and who left DCEU's The Flash to come work for Lucasfilm, were part of the movie's draw.

More importantly: With less than a month left to go (plus reshoots) who would be willing to step in and save the production?

Less than 48 hours later, we have answers to all our questions. Happy days will be here again for Star Wars: The Untitled Han Solo Joint and Ron Howard will be stepping up to finish it.

But what exactly was the problem, and what will Howard need to course correct? According to a new Entertainment Weekly report, Lord & Miller's comic aspects were the issue.

When dailies began rolling in featuring improvisation from the actors and new ideas from the directors that significantly parted ways with the script, the relationship with the home office at Lucasfilm became fraught. As principal photography for the movie approached its end, it became clear that the filmmakers and producers did not share the same vision for some critical scenes.

With a cast full of writers like Donald Glover and Phoebe Waller-Bridge, it's not all surprising Lord & Miller thought having improvised scenes would help make the movie.

Besides, this is supposed to be The Han Solo Joint. What's the one thing Harrison Ford is most famous for doing as Han Solo? Improvising all his classic lines.

But Star Wars veteran Lawrence Kasdan, who wrote the script, was not looking for improvising. He was looking for someone to film his script as was. And unlike with Gareth Edwards, who was fine with having someone else do the Rogue One reshoots, even if they deviated from his original idea, Lord & Miller were allegedly not so chill. They are described as having "dug in" and "refusing to compromise on what they saw as best for the film," according to Entertainment Weekly.

And so, (picture Ron Howard's voiceover here) Ron Howard would just have to come along and set everything to rights.

It's not like he's never done a film with George Lucas before, having worked with him on American Graffiti back in the early 1970s. Come to think of it, that's basically a Han Solo prequel movie anyway, just in cars, instead of space ships.

Star Wars: The Untitled Han Solo Joint will confuse everybody in 2018 by coming out in May instead of December like the prior three have, so please put it on your calendar now so you don't forget. Principle filming will resume on the film in July.