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Ron Howard will step in to rescue Han Solo movie

Narrator: And then he did.

Ron Howard at National Geographic's Premiere Screening of 'Genius' in Los Angeles
Ron Howard, seen here at the premiere of National Geographic’s Genius at the Fox Theater in Los Angeles on April 24, 2017.
Tommaso Boddi/Getty Images for National Geographic
Charlie Hall is Polygon’s tabletop editor. In 10-plus years as a journalist & photographer, he has covered simulation, strategy, and spacefaring games, as well as public policy.

News that Disney’s young Han Solo film had lost its directors sent shock waves through the industry just a few days ago. Today comes word that Oscar-winning director Ron Howard has stepped into the role with three and a half weeks left to finish filming.

“At Lucasfilm, we believe the highest goal of each film is to delight, carrying forward the spirit of the saga that George Lucas began forty years ago,” said Kathleen Kennedy, president of Lucasfilm, in a news release. “With that in mind, we’re 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 absolute commitment to make a great movie. Filming will resume the 10th of July.”

Job one, according to The Hollywood Reporter, is calming the cast’s jangled nerves. Howard is reportedly scheduled to meet with Alden Ehrenreich (Han Solo) and Donald Glover (Lando Calrissian), as well as co-stars Woody Harrelson, Emilia Clarke and Thandie Newton, “to soothe a rattled set.”

The scuttlebutt is that previous directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller were planning to move the storyline away from the tone set by series veteran Lawrence Kasdan, who co-wrote The Empire Strikes Back and was brought on to finish The Force Awakens. That decision is reportedly what led to Lord and Miller’s departure due to “creative differences.” The expectation is that Howard will be more inclined to work within the structures set down by Kasdan.

Trouble is, Lord and Miller had already been on set filming the movie for more than four months. Howard is swooping in on short notice, and with less than a month left in the schedule. The film is still set to premiere May 25, 2018.

He has the hopes of an entire fandom weighing on his shoulders. May the Force be with him.

Narrator: The Force was with him.