Lucasfilm announced on Thursday that Oscar winner Ron Howard will take the reins of the Han Solo Star Wars spinoff, replacing original directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller. While production isn't scheduled to resume until July 10, Howard wasted little time in expressing his gratitude and his excitement to join the Star Wars franchise.
Howard commented last night on Twitter, acknowledging both his Star Wars fandom and the work of Lord and Miller.
I'm beyond grateful to add my voice to the Star Wars Universe after being a fan since 5/25/77.— Ron Howard (@RealRonHoward) June 22, 2017
I hope to honor the great work already done & help deliver on the promise of a Han Solo film.— Ron Howard (@RealRonHoward) June 22, 2017
He also opened up about the new gig at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity, saying, "I’ve been a fan forever. It’s gratifying to be asked to lend my voice to the [Star Wars] universe. 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."
Howard recounted how he originally heard about Star Wars from George Lucas himself when the two were working on American Graffiti, and thinking at the time the idea sounded "crazy." However, after waiting in line with his wife for two hours to see A New Hope, Howard became a lifelong fan.
"We left almost speechless, and I said, 'Do you want to see it again?'" he recalled. "And we got in line and waited another 90 minutes to see it twice the same day."
Based on a script by Lawrence and Jon Kasdan, the Han Solo film stars Alden Ehrenreich as Han Solo, Donald Glover as Lando Calrissian, Joonas Suotamo as Chewbacca, Emilia Clarke, Thandie Newton, Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Michael K. Williams and Woody Harrelson. The as-yet-untitled Star Wars anthology film is scheduled to hit theaters on May 25, 2018.