(Update: 6/22/17: Ron Howard has been officially tapped to direct)
What in the hell just happened over at Lucasfilm? Did that really just happen?
It’s hard to buy into the whole “creative differences” excuse when this film has been shooting since January. There is clearly something bigger at play here, behind the scenes. Without a director, and with only three weeks to shoot, the Han Solo movie looks to be in jeopardy. Here are six directors that could take over and finish directing the project.
Early rumors suggest Ron Howard to be the frontrunner to direct the fantasy epic. Howard already has an established relationship with Disney since he directed the 1996 crime-drama, Ransom. Since then, Howard has picked up two Best Director nominations, and enjoyed a steady career in biopics. That would make perfect since because the Han Solo movie is a biopic in a weird way.
An experienced screenwriter and director that’s already on set, Lawrence Kasdan would make a lot of sense to take over as a director. Kasdan’s last directorial project was a critically-panned small drama called Darling Companion. His long-lasting relationship with the Star Wars franchise will likely help his case to take over as director. Don’t be surprised if Kasdan is the choice to helm the remainder of the project.
Jon Favreau is another director who has had success with Disney. While Favreau is gearing up to helm a live-action The Lion King soon, he is currently not too busy. Favreau’s last film, The Jungle Book, was also a project from Disney. He could definitely spend the next 3 weeks joining the team at Lucasfilm and helping facilitate the final weeks of production.
J. J. Abrams
Surprisingly, J. J. Abrams currently has no project to direct. After the success of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, the sci-fi expert has taken somewhat of a hiatus from directing and stuck to producing. The opening of a position at Lucasfilm could bring him back in the director’s chair, and we certainly wouldn’t be surprised. Much of Episode VII’s success can be attributed to Abram’s style of blending in the familiar and the new, which is something he would excel at if he were to direct the Han Solo flick.
Yet another director with a history of working with Lucasfilm, Gareth Edwards would make an exceptional choice. Edwards isn’t working on anything too big, and is coming off the heels of the very-successful first standalone Star Wars film. Edwards definitely wouldn’t be a surprising pick and could possibly land him a recurring gig at Lucasfilm from now on.
After the debacle of 2015’s Fant4stic, you would think studios would stay as far away as they can from the infamous Josh Trank. However, at one point Trank was set to direct a standalone film about Boba Fett, and cited his departure as a personal one. Despite the controversial behavior and tabloid-popping headlines, Trank would be a good fit to finish the production of the Han Solo film for two big reasons. First, Trank isn’t busy at the moment; currently he’s working on a small-scale biopic about Al Capone. Second, if the Han Solo film gets critically panned, Trank could take the fall for the film’s quality.
The untitled Han Solo movie will be released on May 25, 2018.