Ron Howard on directing Han Solo: “I’ve been a fan forever”


Director Ron Howard was chosen by Lucasfilm to replace Phil Lord and Chris Miller at the helm of the untitled Han Solo Star Wars story, and now he’s opening up about it…

Ron Howard’s schedule just got a whole lot busier.  Earlier this week, the veteran director was announced as the replacement for the writing and directing duo of Phil Lord and Chris Miller on the as yet untitled Star Wars: Han Solo film, when the pair were fired by Kathleen Kennedy at Lucasfilm, citing “creative differences.”

On Friday, July 23, Howard spoke at the Cannes Lions advertising and media conference, andVariety was on hand to hear what the new kid on the Star Wars block had to say about his new gig. Expressing his excitement over being “asked to lend [his] voice to the Star Wars universe, Howard didn’t hold back:

“I’ve been a fan forever…”

"It’s a little opportunity that came my way. So many people involved in the Star Wars franchise are friends. It’s already been in production, and there’s a lot of really great work there."

The director of such critically acclaimed films as Apollo 13, and the Academy Award-winning A Beautiful Mind, recalled a neat little story from 1972, about a conversation he had with Star Wars creator George Lucas while filming Lucas’ American Graffiti…a film that Han Solo himself was in, as well, Harrison Ford.

Apparently, Lucas told the then young actor that he had an idea for a “fun sci-fi film, incorporating special effects like those used in Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey.

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40 years, and eight very successful films later (nine when The Last Jedi hits theaters worldwide on December 15 — later this year), and that fun little idea turned into the largest, most lucrative, and well-beloved film franchise ever.

Howard went on to explain that when Star Wars: A New Hope debuted in May of1977, he and his wife stood in line for two hours to see it.

"I was so moved by the movie. I was transported by the movie… We literally left almost speechless."

How moved was he? So moved, in fact, that he and his wife returned to the theater to see it again, and stood in line for 90 minutes. Now that’s the kind of director every Star Wars fan should be jumping for joy to see direct one of the franchise’s new films.

Star Wars: Han Solo (no, that’s not the official title…or is it?) is currently still slated to hit theaters worldwide on May 25, 2018.