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Ron Howard to take over ‘Star Wars’ Han Solo spin-off


OSCAR-winning filmmaker Ron Howard has been brought in to complete the hotly-anticipated “Star Wars” Han Solo spinoff after directing duo Phil Lord and Chris Miller were sacked, Lucasfilm said Thursday.

Lord and Miller, the pair behind the acclaimed “The LEGO Movie” and “21 Jump Street,” were dropped after clashing with the studio’s chief Kathleen Kennedy and writer Lawrence Kasdan, according to reports in the Hollywood trade press.

“At Lucasfilm, we believe the highest goal of each film is to delight, carrying forward the spirit of the saga that George Lucas began 40 years ago,” Kennedy said in a statement.

“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 on July 10.”

Lord and Miller, who were just weeks away from wrapping principal photography at London’s Pinewood Studios, annoyed Kasdan – a “Star Wars” legend who co-wrote “The Empire Strikes Back,” “Return of the Jedi” and “The Force Awakens” – by insisting on more humor and encouraging improvisation, according to Variety magazine.

“Nothing happens in the Lucasfilm universe without major consideration and bringing in Ron Howard to take over the reins of the ‘Han Solo Project’ must’ve come after intense deliberation,” Paul Dergarabedian, a senior media analyst for comScore, told AFP.

“Considering the incredibly high-profile nature of the film and its importance to the ‘Star Wars’ brand and legacy, this move – while causing a huge stir now – will be vindicated once the marketing machine sets in motion and if the first footage and resultant buzz for the film is strong.”