It's just been confirmed by THR that Ron Howard will step into replace Phil Lord and Chris Miller as director of the as-yet untitled Han Solo standalone movie.
According to a report filed by Variety yesterday, Lord and Miller were fired by Kathleen Kennedy and Lucasfilm after constant clashes on set. THR's report says that Howard is set to meet with Alden Ehrenreich - who's playing young Han Solo - and Donald Glover - who's playing young Lando Calrissian - in a matter of days to soothe tensions and get the production back on schedule.
The film is still slated in for its May 2018 release, despite the fact that Lord and Miller were reportedly only four weeks from completing the shoot on the film. Howard's previous work includes In The Heart Of The Sea, Backdraft, Willow - which he co-produced with George Lucas - and the Oscar-winning A Beautiful Mind.
Lucasfilm have so far released no comment on Lord and Miller's departure beyond the official statement, but it seems likely that Howard was waiting in the wings for quite some time.
So, thoughts? Howard is likely a safe pair of hands to Lucasfilm, but there's no denying that In The Heart Of The Sea was something of a flop and Inferno was an absolute joke of a film. Either way, there's going to be a stink around this film for quite some time and it's going to be an uphill struggle for Lucasfilm and Ron Howard to win people over - especially considering how well-liked Lord and Miller were by audiences.
Expect a stormy few months for this production.
UPDATE: Lucasfilm have released official confirmation, with a statement from Kathleen Kennedy. "At Lucasfilm, we believe the highest goal of each film is to delight, carrying forward the spirit of the saga that George Lucas began forty years ago. 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 the 10th of July."