Ron Howard stepped in to take over the directing duties for the forthcoming ‘Solo: A Star Wars Story‘ midway through production. He took over from Phil Lord and Christopher Miller, and a directorial change in mid-film-production is not necessarily out of the ordinary, so this isn’t too surprising. What may be surprising, however, is that Howard tells us that ‘Solo’ wasn’t the first Star Wars film he was offered to direct: surprisingly, back in the 1990s, he was asked to direct ‘Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace.’
In an interview, Howard made the revelation about how he was given the chance to headline the newest iteration of Star Wars at the time. The conversations and negotiations, to be fair, were not that in-depth, according to Howard:
“I want to clarify that a little. It was a casual conversation in a car park (parking lot). It was not like I read a script and weighed it carefully. It was a knee-jerk reaction, because I immediately felt like George should do it. Now that other people are broadening the scope and the approach to the [Star Wars] movies, it became a more reasonable consideration.”
Certainly, ‘The Phantom Menace’ would likely have been significantly different with Howard (or anyone else, really) at the helm. Howard, for his part, has always been a vocal supporter of ‘Episode I,’ even going so far as to write a letter to Newsweek magazine in 1999 defending the film and young Anakin Skywalker actor Jake Lloyd.
As for the Star Wars film the world is about to see? Howard describes it thusly:
“The Star Wars universe that we see in ‘Solo’ was different from anything else we’ve seen in any previous Star Wars movies. The Empire controls everything. Everyone is struggling to survive, but we discover this incredible free spirit.”
In addition to Alden Ehrenreich in the titular role, the film also stars Thandie Newton, Emilia Clarke, Donald Glover, Paul Bettany, Jon Favreau, Woody Harrelson, Joonas Suotamo, and Phoebe Waller-Bridge.
‘Solo: A Star Wars Story’ is scheduled to be released in US theaters on May 25, 2018.