Who should replace Phil Lord and Chris Miller on the Han Solo movie?

*This was posted before today’s announcement that Ron Howard has been tapped for the director’s chair*

A few days ago, shocking news broke that filmmakers Phil Lord and Chris Miller were being removed from the untitled Young Han Solo movie that they were currently in production on. This is pretty shocking stuff, to be frank. Even with the chaos of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story last year, Kathleen Kennedy and company didn’t replace Gareth Edwards during the shooting of the picture. That happened here though, as Lord and Miller are out. What does this mean? We shall see, but the search is (quickly) on for a replacement. Whomever gets the job will finish the last few weeks of production and then handle the post production work. It’s going to be a challenge, to say the least. Hopefully the person who comes on board the ship won’t crash it, as plenty is riding on this tale of a young smuggler…

Here now are a half dozen options to replace Lord and Miller, some of whom have been mentioned already, while some are just my suggestions. Take a gander:

Jon Favreau – He’s familiar to Disney, has experience with blockbusters, and probably would have an affinity for the material. At the same time, Favreau is a busy man and likely is a long shot. This is the sort of person that Kennedy and company should be looking into though, for what that’s worth. It just probably won’t end up being him, specifically.

Tony Gilroy – Considering how Gilroy supposedly stepped in to save the day on Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, doesn’t this make sense? Still, it’s been said that he’s not in the mix, at least currently. Logic dictates that he should be, however. If the same result can be achieved here as with Rogue One, I think everyone would walk away happily, more or less.

Ron Howard – The frontrunner and rumored to be the likely pick, Howard would be a safe and reliable choice. Is he a filmmaker who generates excitement anymore? No, not especially. That being said, he would be a responsible choice, one who wouldn’t rock the boat. He might even leave in a fair amount of Lord and Miller’s style, considering how low key his own is. If this is the choice, I have zero issue with it.

Joe Johnston – The other name mentioned a lot is Johnston, who would be a similarly steady hand. He’s essentially what you get with Howard, just on a slightly smaller basis. He doesn’t work that often either, so you’d think he’d jump at the chance. If Howard doesn’t work out, the odds very much favor Johnston being the back up plan, for obvious reasons.

Lawrence Kasdan – The co-writer on this Han Solo flick, there was some speculation that Kasdan could step up, but Directors Guild of America rules more or less prevent it from happening. Basically, the DGA has guidelines in place to make sure writers on films don’t just take over for fired directors. If not for that, Kasdan would be a more likely pick by Kennedy.

Kevin Smith – Finally, a real long shot, but hear me out. Smith would essentially keep the ship going, executing the screenplay vision, much like he’s recently done on television, to some acclaim too. You’d get the most of Lord and Miller, the biggest Star Wars fan possible, and someone invested in making sure the movie doesn’t fall apart. He’d be incredibly divisive, but a choice that wouldn’t be as strange as many would initially think. Disney and Kennedy probably don’t see him as a safe option though, which makes him the longest of long shots.

Stay tuned to see who gets the job and continues work on the still to be titled Han Solo film!

About Joey Magidson

A graduate of Stony Brook University (where he studied Cinema and Cultural Studies), resides in Brooklyn, New York. He contributes to several other film-related websites and is a member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association.

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