Ron Howard has been confirmed as the new director of the untitled Han Solo "Star Wars" anthology film being developed by Disney, according to a story by The Hollywood Reporter.
The film industry is still reeling from the news that Phil Lord and Chris Miller, who had directed the "Star Wars" standalone movie for four-and-a-half months, were fired due to creative differences with screenwriter Lawrence Kasdan. It's quite unusual for a director to be replaced this late in the game, especially considering that Lord and Miller were more than three-quarters through principal photography.
The closest equivalent was Zack Snyder's recent replacement by Joss Whedon for the upcoming "Justice League" film. That occurred even later in the production phase, with Whedon being called in to direct reshoots and then oversee post-production and editing. Unlike Lord and Miller, however, Snyder wasn't fired but reportedly left of his own accord to deal with a personal tragedy (his daughter's recent suicide).
Howard has a strong reputation as both an easy director to work with and as a man who has helmed features that were both critically acclaimed and financially successful, including "Apollo 13" and "A Beautiful Mind" (for which he won an Oscar). He is also well known for directing a live-action adaptation of "Dr. Seuss' How The Grinch Stole Christmas," as well as "Cocoon" and "Willow." That said, his three most recent films — "Rush","Inferno" and "In the Heart of the Sea" — were flops —
The Han Solo film, which stars Alden Ehrenreich as the titular character and Donald Glover as his best friend Lando Calrissian, is due out May 25, 2018.