Ladies, Gentlemen, Nerf Herders: Ron Howard Is Your New ‘Han Solo’ Director
And now, the story of a big studio movie that lost its creative team, and the one director who had no choice but to keep it all together — it’s Han Solo’s re-hiring process.
In case the Arrested Development joke didn’t make it clear: after a few days of social-media whispers that filmmaker/part-time narrator Ron Howard would complete production on the Han Solo spinoff film, the official Star Wars site confirmed that much with a new blog post today. Now that there’s a seasoned director with plenty of studio experience behind the camera, this film is practically guaranteed to be a smashing success! (Ron Howard voice: it isn’t.)
Of course Howard has been doing this long enough to know his way around a hundred-million-dollar production, but his entry to the project should still give fans pause. Consider the circumstances of original directors Phil Lord and Christopher Miller’s unceremonious departure: Lucasfilm head honcho Kathleen Kennedy ousted them over “creative differences” with screenwriter Lawrence Kasdan, a time-honored euphemism for “these twerps wouldn’t follow orders.” Lord and Miller’s irreverent sense of humor clashed with the Lucasfilm house style, so Kennedy went looking for... what? A blander director, a more pliable artist, someone willing to play ball with the studio? Those were pretty much the stated parameters of their search, a director who would do what he’s told, and it turns out there’s no one more amenable to studio notes than your uncle’s favorite auteur, Ron Howard!
We’ll have to reserve official judgement until the film’s release in May of next year, but things aren’t off to a rollicking start. Four-and-a-half months of a Lord & Miller Han Solo down the tubes, difficulty establishing a cohesive tone, friction between creative expression and franchise homogeneity — hmm, how did the Ant-Man movie turn out, anyway?