Ron Howard will be stepping in as director on Disney's upcoming Han Solo movie after the film's original directors, Phil Lord and Christopher Miller, were fired from the project this week, according to the Hollywood Reporter.
Howard will take over the near-completed project in Lord and Miller's absence, hopefully getting the project completed before its scheduled release date in May 2018. The original directing duo had almost finished principle photography when Lucasfilm head Kathleen Kennedy ousted them on Tuesday. Variety reports that the original directors—who promised to "take risks" and "give the audience a fresh experience" when they were hired in 2015—clashed with Kennedy and screenwriter Lawrence Kasdan.
"Kathy, her team, and Larry Kasdan have been doing it their way for a very long time. They know how the cheese is made and that's how they want it made," a source told Variety. "It became a very polarizing set."
Lord and Miller alluded to the same issues in their recent statement about leaving the film, which stars Alden Ehrenreich as the young Solo and Donald Glover as Lando Calrissian. "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," the duo wrote.
The movie's production stalled briefly this week as the studio frantically searched for a replacement director who could keep things on schedule, finally landing on Ron Howard. The guy who directed Apollo 13 is going back into space to frantically salvage a version of Han Solo's origin story that Disney will be happy with.
"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."
Absolute commitment or no, betting that the movie actually hits its current release date is the sort of wager that lost Lando the Millennium Falcon in the first place.