Following yesterday’s surprising news that Phil Lord and Christopher Miller have dropped out of the Han Solo spinoff, new rumors abound regarding who will come in to salvage the project. Apparently, Ron Howard is at the top of Disney’s list, though other names are being thrown around, too.
According to Deadline, Howard, who has over 40 directing credits to his name, is a favorite to get the movie back on track. Which is a big ask of anybody—the film was reportedly three weeks away from being finished before Lord and Miller were let go over “creative differences.”
In addition to Howard, a longtime Star Wars writer, Lawrence Kasdan, is being considered, as is Joe Johnston, the latter of whom directed Captain America: The First Avenger and 1995’s Jumanji.
Howard is a pretty safe bet considering his resume, which includes Rush, Apollo 13 and Backdraft. He has been in the industry both as an actor and director since he was a kid, so he knows how the machine works.
Disney said it planned to announce a new director soon, so it won’t be long before we know the project’s fate. Whoever comes in will reportedly look over what Lord and Miller shot and decide what can and can’t be salvaged.
In addition to rumors about who will come in to save the project, Variety has details about the creative differences that tore the project apart in the first place.
Apparently, Lord and Miller were creating a version of Han Solo who was more comedic and less “suave.” Ultimately, their style clashed with the vision of Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy, leading to yesterday’s unexpected departure.
One source close to the project described the set as “very polarizing” as the politicking was going on.
With July’s D23 expo on the horizon, it’s certainly bad timing, but Disney continues to insist the film is still on schedule for a May 2018 release. We should know more soon.