There was a big filmmaker shake-up in the Star Wars world earlier this week as Phil Lord and Chris Miller left the Han Solo spin-off film, leaving the director's chair vacant. Lucasfilm announced that Ron Howard would step in to finish the remaining weeks of principal photography, which delighted some while angering others. When speaking at the
"It’s gratifying to be asked to lend my voice to the [Star Wars] universe," Howard explained. "I’ve been a fan forever."
The director recalled his first experiences with the film, saying that he and his wife waited two hours in line to secure tickets back in 1977.
“I was so moved by the movie,” Howard revealed. “I was transported by the movie… We literally left almost speechless.” He added that the film had such an impact on him, the two immediately got in line to see it again, having to only wait 90 minutes for the second round.
Considering the amount of attention Howard has received as a filmmaker, many younger audiences don't realize he began his career as an actor. His connection to Star Wars predates the film even premiering, having starred in George Lucas' directorial debut, American Graffiti, which also starred Harrison Ford long before he became Han Solo.
Howard recalled discussing the plans for the sci-fi franchise on the set of the film, with Lucas explaining he wanted to utilize special effects seen in Stanley Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey for a "fun" sci-fi adventure. Only a few years later, Star Wars hit cinemas.
That partnership between Howard and Lucas continues to this day, with Howard noting, "So many people involved in the Star Wars franchise are friends."
As far as his feelings about taking on a movie that has been shooting for months, Howard explained, “It’s already been in production, and there’s a lot of really great work there."
The filmmaker's recent films, like the Da Vinci Code trilogy, are the most prominent memories in film fans' minds, which is where initial negative reactions to the filmmaker taking the Han Solo reins come from. When you go further back into his filmography, Howard has made many films that are full of heart, delving into the science fiction realm with Cocoon and the fantasy realm with Willow, which he made for Lucasfilm.
The Han Solo spin-off movie is still slated to debut in theaters May 25, 2018.
The Han Solo spinoff is filming now under director Ron Howard for a May 25,