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Published On: Tue, Jun 27th, 2017

Ron Howards talks about joining ‘Star Wars’ franchise for ‘Han Solo’: ‘there is a great amount of work done’

Ron Howard taking over on the upcoming Han Solo standalone film has rocked the fan community and the Apollo 13 director joked about the breaking news at the Palais stage at Cannes Lions, alongside New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft during a panel discussion, when Howard finally touched on the topic.

“A little opportunity that came my way.”

He added that he hoped “to honor the great work already done” and reflected on how the George Lucas original impacted him, as well as the remarks made on the set of American Graffiti.

“I’ve been around the Star Wars universe from the beginning. When I was being directed by George Lucas on American Graffiti in 1972, we were standing out in front of Mel’s Drive-In in San Francisco where we were shooting and I said, ‘Do you know what you think your next film might be?’ And he said, ‘Yeah, I want to do a science fiction movie, but a really fun one like Flash Gordon with the effects of Stanley Kubrick’s 2001.’ I thought, ‘That sounds like a kind of crazy idea.’”

The shock waves of buzz ahead of the Star Wars in 1977 couldn’t be ignored, so Howard said he became “so curious.” He and his wife went to see it on the first day of release and were “so moved by the movie. It was all the things you dream you’re going to experience in the movies.”

 

Although they had stood in line for two hours to see it, when Howard and Cheryl came out, they threw each other a look and decided to see it again immediately — standing in line for another 90 minutes.

“So many people involved with the Star Wars franchise are friends, so it’s gratifying to be able to lend my voice to the universe — coming in when it’s already been in production and there is a great amount of work done.”

Directors Phil Lord & Christopher Miller were dropped from Han Solo after creative rifts with Lucasfilm chief Kathleen Kennedy and screenwriter Lawrence Kasdan.

It is six months into production. Deadline had scooped the news on Tuesday that Howard was the top choice to take over.

Lucasfilm made the hire official and said filming will resume July 10.

Alden Ehrenreich is playing a younger version of the character originated by Harrison Ford in the original Star Wars trilogy and 2015’s Episode VII.

The Han Solo pic also stars Woody Harrelson, Emilia Clarke, Donald Glover, Thandie Newton, Phoebe Waller-Bridge and Joonas Suotamo (Chewbacca).

Han Solo is still slated for a May 25, 2018, release.

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