Howard is taking over for Phil Lord and Christopher Miller (The Lego Movie), who were fired from the project over persistent clashes with long-time Star Wars writer Lawrence Kasdan (see “Directors Fired From Han Solo Film”). Kasdan preferred a true-to-the-original sarcastic and selfish Han Solo over Lord and Miller’s more lighthearted interpretation. Howard and Rocketeer director Joe Johnston were reportedly in the running for the director’s chair.
Howard won the Golden Globe and multiple Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Best Director, for A Beautiful Mind. His lengthy resume also includes cult-favorite Willow, Apollo 13 (also an Academy Award-winner in technical categories), and The Da Vinci Code and its sequels.
Principal photography on the film began in February (see "Principal Photography Begins on New 'Star Wars' Film"). Production is presently halted as Howard gets up to speed and will resume on July 10. The film is slated to be in theaters on May 25, 2018 (see “Best in Shows – Q2 2018”).