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In 2015, Disney announced that Lucasfilm would release a Star Wars film every year, starting with Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Last year the franchise released its first spin-off with Gareth EdwardsRogue One: A Star Wars Story, which was a massive success. The next spin-off to make its way to theaters in 2018 will be the prequel anthology film, Han Solo.

Earlier this week brought the news that Phil Lord and Chris Miller (Lego Movie, 21 Jump Street) had left the untitled Han Solo film due to creative differences. Lord and Miller began principle photography for Han Solo earlier this year in late January, and the film is still currently in production. On June 22, it was announced that none other than Ron Howard (Rush, A Beautiful Mind) would be taking over as director. Kathleen Kennedy issued the following statement:

“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. 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.”

Ron Howard will be overseeing the project from this current juncture of production until release May 2018. The Academy Award winning director will be finishing the last three weeks of principal photography and a few more weeks of reshoots prior to post production. Lucasfilm and Disney believe Ron Howard’s direction will better align with the vision of the studio and the script written by Lawrence Kasdan (Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back).

The Departure Of Phil Lord & Chris Miller

Phil Lord and Chris Miller had been expected to direct the untitled Han Solo standalone ever since the film was announced in 2015. According to Kathleen Kennedy, Lord and Miller will no longer be lending their direction to the project due to “creative differences.” The two issued the following statement earlier this week:

“Unfortunately, our vision and process weren’t aligned with our partners on this project. We normally aren’t fans of the phrase ‘creative differences’ but for once this cliché is true. We are really proud of the amazing and world-class work of our cast and crew.”

Under their direction, the two built a strong cast and crew. Bradford Young (Arrival) is working on the project as director of photography, so the film is sure to be visually stunning. Alden Ehrenreich, who is playing the young Han Solo, will be joined by actors such as Donald Glover, Emilia Clarke, Woody Harrelson, Micheal Kenneth Williams, and many more.

Filming will continue July 10 under Ron Howard’s direction. Han Solo is still set for release May 25, 2018.

Images are copyright of Lucasfilm and Columbia Pictures

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