Movies

Ron Howard replaces Han Solo directors Lord and Miller

Oscar-winning film-maker Ron Howard has been brought in to complete the Star Wars Han Solo spin-off after directing duo Phil Lord and Chris Miller were fired, Lucasfilm said on Thursday.

Lord and Miller, the pair behind The Lego Movie, 21 Jump Street and its sequel, were dropped after clashing with studio chief Kathleen Kennedy and writer Lawrence Kasdan, according to reports.

Said Kennedy: "...We are thrilled to announce that Ron Howard will step in to direct the untitled Han Solo film. We have a wonderful script, an incredible cast and crew, and the commitment to make a great movie. Filming will resume on July 10."

Lord and Miller, who were just weeks from wrapping principal photography at London's Pinewood Studios, annoyed Kasdan - who co-wrote The Empire Strikes Back, Return of the Jedi and The Force Awakens - by insisting on more humour and encouraging improvisation, reported Variety magazine.

Howard had worked with Lucasfilm on Willow in 1988 but is better known for hits such as Apollo 13 and A Beautiful Mind, a biopic about Nobel prize-winning mathematician John Nash, which won him an Oscar for best director.

(From left) Phil Lord and Chris Miller with Baftas for The Lego Movie. PHOTO: AFP

But his reputation has suffered with a number of turkeys, including Inferno and In The Heart Of The Sea, and he will be looking to get back on track with his first big box office hit since Angels And Demons in 2009.

The cast and crew of the untitled Han Solo film. PHOTO: WALT DISNEY STUDIOS

CREATIVE DIFFERENCES

In a statement, Lord and Miller blamed "creative differences" for the split with Lucasfilm and said their "vision and process weren't aligned with our partners on this project".

The Han Solo film is slated for a May 25, 2018 release. Alden Ehrenreich stars as galactic smuggler Solo. It also stars Woody Harrelson, Thandie Newton, Emilia Clarke and Donald Glover. It is set before the original 1977 movie.- AFP

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