Star Wars: Ron Howard Details the Moment He Turned Down 'The Phantom Menace'

While it may have been under unconventional circumstances, Ron Howard stepping in to finish shooting Solo: A Star Wars Story was a homecoming of sorts, with the filmmaker having previously directed Willow for Lucasfilm. The filmmaker was also briefly considered to helm The Phantom Menace, with Howard recently detailing the conversation in which he passed on the opportunity.

"It was a casual conversation in a car park," Howard shared with Total Film about turning down the project. "It was not like I read a script and weighed it carefully."

He added, "It was a knee-jerk reaction because I immediately felt like George [Lucas] should do it."

This might not be the filmmaker's final journey with Lucasfilm, having teased to ComicBook.com that a sequel to Willow was being developed.

"I don't want to give away too much, but there is a little talk of Willow," Howard confirmed. "We wouldn't call it Willow 2, I think it would focus a lot on Elora Danan, although Willow would have to be significantly involved."

Howard's experience making the 1988 film not only helped establish his relationship with the studio,but also informed many of his decisions with Solo.

"I thought about that movie a lot as I was working on Solo because there are certain scenes, especially around some of the Madmartigan stuff, was reminiscent of a character with that kind of swagger and bravado," the director noted. "And also some of the humor around some of the action in Willow was something I inspired to get into Solo."

While Howard's first journey to the galaxy far, far away has yet to hit theaters, many fans are already wondering if more adventures are in store for the iconic smuggler.

“I think the fans are going to define all of that," Howard shared with Fandango of the possibility of sequels. "I mean I think that Lucasfilm and Disney in casting actors, and particularly younger actors, want to see what happens and build upon that. Certainly, they want the commitment from the young actors, but there are no concrete plans. I think there’s been a lot of creative energy and now marketing energy going behind this movie.”

Solo: A Star Wars Story lands in theaters on May 25th.

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[H/T Digital Spy]