Hollywood got something of a shake-up today, when it was abruptly reported that Lego Movie masterminds Phil Lord and Christopher Miller had parted ways with Disney’s standalone Han Solo movie due to “creative differences.” (Or, as a number of outlets are reporting, because they got fired.) Some sources are pinning the break-up on Star Wars head honcho Kathleen Kennedy, while others, including The Hollywood Reporter, have pointed to conflicts between Lord and Miller’s improvisation-friendly approach, and screenwriter and producer Lawrence Kasdan’s devotion to what’s written on the page. Either way: the Han Solo movie needs a new director, and everyone is trying to figure out who it’ll be.
And while Kasdan—whose directing credits include The Big Chill, Wyatt Earp, and Dreamcatcher—has been put forward as a potential replacement (presumably because he knows what he, himself, wants to fix with what Lord and Miller have already shot), the biggest name being quietly bandied around is that of Ron Howard. Howard’s career has been relatively quiet lately—mostly relegating himself to music documentaries and movies where Tom Hanks tries to save the world with Latin and terrible hair—but it’s not like he doesn’t know his way around a big-budget, space-based production. This is all way up in the air, of course, but don’t be utterly shocked if Howard’s the one who’s eventually tapped to get the Han Solo film—which is still set for a May 25, 2018 release date—back on whatever track Disney seems intent on sending it down.