Phil Lord and Christopher Miller will direct the second Star Wars Anthology film, which will tell the origin story of Han Solo, Lucasfilm announced today.
Lawrence Kasdan, who co-wrote The Empire Strikes Back, Return of the Jedi and Raiders of the Lost Ark, is writing the film's screenplay with his son, Jon Kasdan. The movie "focuses on how young Han Solo became the smuggler, thief, and scoundrel whom Luke Skywalker and Obi-Wan Kenobi first encountered in the cantina at Mos Eisley," according to Lucasfilm. Today's announcement confirms a rumor dating back to February 2013.
Lord (above right) and Miller (left) are perhaps the most sought-after directing duo in Hollywood today. The pair's resume includes Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs and The Lego Movie, as well as 21 Jump Street and its sequel, 22 Jump Street.
"This is the first film we've worked on that seems like a good idea to begin with," said Lord and Miller in a statement from Lucasfilm. "We promise to take risks, to give the audience a fresh experience, and we pledge ourselves to be faithful stewards of these characters who mean so much to us. This is a dream come true for us. And not the kind of dream where you're late for work and all your clothes are made of pudding, but the kind of dream where you get to make a film with some of the greatest characters ever, in a film franchise you've loved since before you can remember having dreams at all."
The Kasdans said Miller and Lord will "bring a fresh new dimension to the Star Wars universe," and added, "They're two of the smartest, funniest and most original filmmakers around, and the ideal choice to tell the story of Han Solo, one of the coolest characters in the galaxy."
Lucasfilm has not yet announced a title for the project, which will follow in the footsteps of Star Wars: Rogue One, the first entry in the spinoff series Star Wars Anthology. Gareth Edwards is directing Rogue One, which is set to premiere Dec. 16, 2016.
The second Anthology movie is set to hit theaters May 25, 2018, almost exactly one year after Star Wars Episode VIII, which is being directed by Rian Johnson. The Star Wars series will return later this year with Star Wars: The Force Awakens, which premieres Dec. 18.