New Director “grateful” for chance to direct a Star Wars Film
What a crazy week for fans focused on a galaxy far, far away; a fandom that includes Academy Award-winning director Ron Howard.
On Sunday, June 18th, the multifaceted filmmaker was tweeting footage from a concert featuring music from his movie The Da Vinci Code. On Thursday, June 22nd, he addressed the Twittersphere as the new director of the young Han Solo standalone film.
I’m beyond grateful to add my voice to the Star Wars Universe after being a fan since 5/25/77.
— Ron Howard (@RealRonHoward) June 22, 2017
I hope to honor the great work already done & help deliver on the promise of a Han Solo film.
— Ron Howard (@RealRonHoward) June 22, 2017
For Howard, who was reportedly offered the chance to direct a Star Wars film* by George Lucas, signing on to direct the untitled Han Solo film signals a kind of homecoming. His fellow filmmakers acknowledged Ron’s return to Lucasfilm.
Finally, the world will get to see the twist George told us he always wanted to tell during Graffiti!
— Richard Dreyfuss (@RichardDreyfuss) June 23, 2017
Optimism, Pessimism (and Comedy)
However a collection of quotes posted by The Hollywood Reporter summarized a mixed reaction beyond Howard’s circle. The magazine site’s staffers’ quotes ran the gamut and quite accurately portrayed the feelings–from triumph to tribulation–felt among the vociferous Star Wars fandom. A selection follows:
Graeme McMillan: Is it just me, or is Howard the perfect director to step in here and embody the current state of Lucasfilm? He’s solid, he’s professional and he’s reliable — but he’s also not particularly exciting, and very much of the age group of both Kathleen Kennedy and Lawrence Kasdan. It feels oddly symbolic of the fact that Star Wars remains the property of “safe pair[s] of hands” who are in their 50s and 60s. Tony Gilroy, who was in charge of the Rogue One reshoots is, what, 60, according to the internet; that makes sense. Rian Johnson, at just 43, is the outlier of the current group of filmmakers, although Colin Trevorrow is even younger at 40, but both of them feel even “riskier” and “edgier” now that Lord and Miller have been booted in favor of Howard.
Mia Galuppo: Look, Howard is gonna make a good movie. Will it be entertaining? Yes. Will it be interesting? No, definitely not. This is a director who has made his career out of biopics and adaptations, meaning he is very good at telling other people’s stories, which is exactly what he is going to do here. The Han Solo movie is not his story to tell, nor was it Lord or Miller’s. It was always Kasdan’s story. Also, he’s Opie, for God’s sake! He’s the guy who stays behind in American Graffiti instead of going to college! He’s not a narrative risk-taker, on or off the screen. But boy, can he tug on the heartstrings with the best of ’em.
The full piece is here.
The Fonz in Space?
With a release date that remains May 25th, 2018, the seriousness of the task ahead of Howard inspired an infinite number of jokes; most on the theme of Opie/Richie in space:
— Baz McAlister (@bazmcalister) June 22, 2017
CNet has a full collection of humor here.
Meanwhile, Starwars.com released just one statement on Howard’s hiring.
“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. “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.”
This morning (July 23rd), THR reports that Howard told an audience at Cannes Lions that his new gig was “a little opportunity that came my way.”
“I’ve been around the Star Wars universe from the beginning.” He explained that was the case, because George Lucas was conceiving it while they were working on American Graffiti. When Lucas first told him the idea, he said he thought it sounded “crazy.”
Howard also noted that when he and his wife first saw Star Wars in 1977, he got right back in line, and waited for 90-minutes to see it again.
Let’s hope fans seeing the young Han Solo film want to do the same.
Stay tuned to MakingStarWars.net for all the latest…
*While we’re on the subject…
I did a little digging to find the footage where Howard talks about being offered The Phantom Menace. It turns out he wasn’t: