The director confirmed the news on social media in a series of hopeful tweets. Clearly, Howard's first responsibility is stabilizing the Force:
"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," Kathleen Kennedy, president of Lucasfilm, said in a statement. "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."
Kennedy added that filming on the Star Wars anthology film will resume on July 10. Howard, however, will start immediately. After all, he's got some fires to put out.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, the director will meet with the actors — which include star Alden Ehrenreich (Han Solo), Donald Glover (Lando Calrissian), Woody Harrelson, Emilia Clarke, and Thandie Newton — to "soothe a rattled set." He will then review Lord and Miller's footage to see "what the project needs" and plan from there.
Howard is a safe choice for Lucasfilm and veteran screenwriter Lawrence Kasdan, who reportedly clashed with Lord and Miller on the set of the flick. Variety reports that Kasdan was not a fan of the directing duo's loose shooting style and preferred that they would stick to the script. They also disagreed with Lord and Miller's more comedic characterization of the young, scruffy-looking nerf-herder played by Ehrenreich.
When Kennedy sought out new creative talent to head up impending reshoots on the film — in a bid to make it more of a Star Wars film — Lord and Miller expressed their displeasure. They were relieved of their directing duties earlier this week.
Meanwhile, Howard has a long history with George Lucas and Lucasfilm. He directed the 1988 fantasy film Willow, penned by Lucas, and appeared in Lucas's 1973 film American Graffiti.
It's unclear how Lord and Miller will be credited for what has already been shot, but those details will undoubtedly be discussed in the coming weeks. Those Directors Guild of America meetings sure sound like fun. (Not.)