Oscar-winning filmmaker Ron Howard will take over as director of the "Star Wars" Han Solo spinoff, Lucasfilm announced.
His hire comes after the movie's original directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller were fired Tuesday, while in the middle of production after clashing with producer and Lucasfilm chief Kathleen Kennedy and co-writer/executive producer Lawrence Kasdan. The duo, who had previously overseen "The LEGO Movie" and "21 Jump Street," wanted to inject more humor into the storyline and encouraged improvisation, something Kasdan did not appreciate.
Howard will begin work immediately. The picture still has several weeks left on its shooting schedule, and five additional weeks of pre-scheduled reshoots that were planned for later this year. The exact amount of time and money that it will take to actually complete the production (which was about three-quarters finished when the directors were fired), will vary depending on how much rewriting and reshooting Howard deems is necessary after reviewing the script and shot footage.
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Ron Howard out and about
Ron Howard out and about
CULVER CITY, CA - MAY 06: Actor/filmmaker Ron Howard arrives at the UCLA Mattel Children's Hospital presents Kaleidoscope 5 at (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - APRIL 24: Director Ron Howard (L) and executive producer Brian Grazer arrive at the premiere of National Geographic's 'Genius' at the Fox Bruin Theater on April 24, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Amanda Edwards/WireImage)
LOS ANGELES, CA - APRIL 24: Director Ron Howard attends the Premiere Of National Geographic's 'Genius' at Fox Bruin Theater on April 24, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Earl Gibson III/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 20: Ron Howard, Katie Couric and Brian Grazer attend the 'Genius' Premiere during the 2017 Tribeca Film Festival at BMCC Tribeca PAC on April 20, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Krista Kennell/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 19: Ron Howard attends National Geographic FURTHER FRONT at Jazz at Lincoln Center's Frederick P. Rose Hall on April 19, 2017 in New York City (Photo by Chance Yeh/FilmMagic)
LONDON, ENGLAND - MARCH 30: Director and Executive Producer Ron Howard and actors Emily Watson and Geoffrey Rush attend a reception for the London Premiere Screening for National Geographic's 'Genius' held at Quaglino's on March 30, 2017 in London, England. (Photo by Eamonn M. McCormack/Getty Images for National Geographic)
LONDON, ENGLAND - MARCH 30: Gigi Pritzker and Ron Howard attend the National Geographic Channel's 'Genius' London Premiere the on March 30, 2017 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Joe Maher/WireImage)
AUSTIN, TX - MARCH 12: Ron Howard speaks onstage at the 'Nat Geo Further Base Camp' at SXSW 2017 - Day 3 on March 12, 2017 in Austin, Texas. (Photo by Joe Scarnici/Getty Images for National Geographic)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - FEBRUARY 26: Director Ron Howard (R) and Cheryl Howard attend the 2017 Vanity Fair Oscar Party hosted by Graydon Carter at the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts on February 26, 2017 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by C Flanigan/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 21: Ron Howard, Helen Mirren and Peter Morgan attend the annual BFI Chairman's Dinner honouring Peter Morgan with the BFI Fellowship at Claridge's Hotel on February 21, 2017 in London, England. (Photo by David M. Benett/Dave Benett/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 12: Bryce Dallas Howard and Ron Howard attend the 70th EE British Academy Film Awards (BAFTA) at Royal Albert Hall on February 12, 2017 in London, England. (Photo by Samir Hussein/WireImage)
LONDON, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 11: Ron Howard attends a pre BAFTA party hosted by Charles Finch and Chanel at Annabel's on February 11, 2017 in London, England. (Photo by Danny Martindale/WireImage)
NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 08: Ron Howard participates in a discussion onstage during the American Magazine Media Conference 2017 on February 8, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Nicholas Hunt/Getty Images for American Magazine Media Conference)
NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 08: Editor of the New Yorker David Remnick (L) and Ron Howard attend the American Magazine Media Conference 2017 on February 8, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Nicholas Hunt/Getty Images for American Magazine Media Conference)
LOS ANGELES, CA - JANUARY 07: Bryce Dallas Howard and Ron Howard attend The BAFTA Tea Party - Arrivals at Four Seasons Hotel Los Angeles at Beverly Hills on January 7, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by David Crotty/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)
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It is unclear just how Howard will be credited and whether he will share directing credit with Lord and Miller, or potentially take no credit at all (though that seems unlikely). Lord and Miller have the right to appeal any decision, but ultimately, the Directors Guild of America will make the call.
Howard previously worked with Lucasfilm on 1988's "Willow," a fantasy adventure that garnered two technical Oscar nominations (visual effects and sound editing) but was a box office disappointment. Howard's credits also include hits such as "Parenthood," "Splash," "Backdraft," "The Da Vinci Code," "Apollo 13" and 2001's "A Beautiful Mind," about the brilliant, anti-social mathematician John Nash, which won four top Academy Awards including best director and best picture.
These days, however, the former child actor is in need of a big hit. He's had a string of duds that include "Inferno," "In the Heart of the Sea," "Rush," and "The Dilemma." His last significant success was 2009's "Angels & Demons."