It’s Official: Ron Howard will take over directing the Han Solo project

The front runner of the choice of directors to take over from Phil Lord and Chris Miller on the untitled young Han Solo film has been confirmed by Lucasfilm. The announcement came in a press release on StarWars.com:

Lucasfilm is pleased to announce that Academy Award-winning filmmaker Ron Howard has been named director of the untitled Han Solo film.

“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,” said Kathleen Kennedy, president of Lucasfilm. “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.”

Howard has made some of the biggest hits and most critically-acclaimed movies of the modern era. Among his many films are Lucasfilm’s Willow, Apollo 13, A Beautiful Mind (winner of four Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Best Director), The Da Vinci CodeFrost/Nixon, and Rush. He also narrated and produced the beloved comedy series Arrested Development, starred in George Lucas’ American Graffiti, and remains a TV icon for his roles in The Andy Griffith Show and Happy Days.

The untitled Han Solo film is slated for a May 25, 2018, release.

They still have about 3 weeks or so of production where Howard will have to review footage they already have and make the tough choices of what to keep and what to re-shoot, for which another 5 weeks have been scheduled. There could be some clashes in the future that the production will have to keep in mind with Emilia Clarke likely to return to filming for Game of Thrones (provided she doesn’t die in season 7) and Donald Glover to shoot Atlanta season 2 soon.

What will this mean for the film? Good question. Ron Howard is a safe choice and he will produce the best movie he can. He is a competent director who has work on a few average films in the last little while, the best recent film he has directed was Rush so we’ll see how we go. I can give you a proper answer in May next year.

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Phil Lord and Chris Miller fired from Han Solo anthology film

I didn’t write about this when the announcement was made because there wasn’t all that much information. Now we have a report from Variety that sheds more light on the situation.

Yesterday, Lucasfilm announced that 21 Jump Street and The LEGO Movie directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller had exited the untitled Han Solo production citing creative differences. Lord and Miller had also released a very co-operative statement. The film has been in principle photography since January this year.

Variety talked to an unknown source with knowledge of the production who said that the chemistry between the directors and Lucasfilm boss, Kathleen Kennedy was never right. The source went on to say that Lord and Miller also clashed with co-writer Lawrence Kasdan who has been heavily involved in Star Wars since Empire Strikes Back.

“Kathy, her team and Larry Kasdan have been doing it their way for a very long time. They know how the cheese is made and that’s how they want it made,” said the source. “It became a very polarising set.”

Kathleen Kennedy in her announcement stated that a new director will be announced shortly. There have been reports from Variety again and Deadline saying the Ron Howard may be the front running candidate for that new director spot.

Ron Howard would no doubt work well with Kennedy, Kasdan and Lucasfilm, he would tow the line and work well with the studio. However, Lord and Miller were hired for their comedic chops and it’d be interesting to see how what they have filmed will blend in with Howard’s product. Let’s also point out that Gareth Edwards suffered similar clashes with Kennedy during production of Rogue One – A Star Wars Story. Tony Gilroy was brought in to direct some of the re-shoots for that film.

I’m not concerned (yet) about these recent developments because of the issues that went down with Rogue One, and the film still ended up being an enjoyable Star Wars movie. I’ll be watching the developments of this production very closely.

The still untitled young Han Solo film is still slated for a May 25, 2018, release date. We will most likely see or hear updates from the upcoming D23 convention and/or Comic Con.

Early Reviews for Wonder Woman are wonderfully positive!

The embargo has lifted and the reviews are in. Wonder Woman has got the internet in a whirl.

Rotten Tomatoes has the current rating at 97% with 64 out of 66 positive reviews and the 2 ‘rotten’ reviews still talk about the many upsides of the film giving a 2/5 and a 2.5/5 each.

Naturally, with more screenings still to come and more reviews coming out the score will go down a little. But I’m looking forward to see this film so much. I plan to see it on Thursday night and will have a review up on Friday.

The excitement will continue to build over the next few days. Without seeing this film yet, I encourage everyone to go out and support this movie. Show Warner Bros. that this is the kind of superhero movie we want.

Roger Moore dies at age 89

The family of Sir Roger Moore, 7 time James Bond, announced his death yesterday. Moore was 89 and had a short but brave battle with cancer. Roger Moore’s Bond is one of my favourites, his films like the Spy Who Loved Me and Moonraker are some fantastic James Bond stories.

Do yourself a favour and watch some of Roger Moore’s films, he will be sorely missed.

Ben Affleck to star as Batman in second Man of Steel

Actor/Director/Academy Award Winner, Ben Affleck has been cast as the next screen version of Bruce Wayne/Batman for the sequel to Man of Steel.

“We knew we needed an extraordinary actor to take on one of DC Comics’ most enduringly popular Super Heroes, and Ben Affleck certainly fits that bill, and then some. His outstanding career is a testament to his talent and we know he and Zack will bring new dimension to the duality of this character.” – Greg Silverman (WB President, Creative Development and Worldwide Production)

“Ben provides an interesting counter-balance to Henry’s Superman. He has the acting chops to create a layered portrayal of a man who is older and wiser than Clark Kent and bears the scars of a seasoned crime fighter, but retain the charm that the world sees in billionaire Bruce Wayne. I can’t wait to work with him.” Zack Snyder (Director of both Man of Steel and its sequel)

“We are so thrilled that Ben is continuing Warner Bros.’ remarkable legacy with the character of Batman. He is a tremendously gifted actor who will make this role his own in this already much-anticipated pairing of these two beloved heroes.” Sue Kroll (WB President, Worldwide Marketing and International Distribution)

This will not be Ben Affleck’s first time as a costume clad superhero, he starred as Daredevil in the 2003 film. So we can already get the feel for what he will look like under the cape and cowl of the Dark Knight. Very little is known about the direction that the film will take other than the appearance of Batman. What we do know is that the untitled sequel will be written by David S. Goyer who was one of the key writers in the Nolan Batman trilogy… so if anyone can write a good adventure for the caped crusader it’ll be him!

J.J. Abrams to Direct Star Wars Episode VII

Hope you like your lightsabers with lens flares because many online magazines and trade reporters have announced, the director or Star Trek and Super 8 is taking on the huge role of directing the new Star Wars film set for release in 2015.

The creator of LOST originally said that he wasn’t a huge fan of taking on the role because of the big influence the series has had on his life. But the burden seems to be not as big of an issue as originally thought.

J.J. Abrams’ new film Star Trek into Darkness hits theatres May 17.

Marvel’s Untitled Movie Moves From May To August

The secret Marvel film for 2014 has been moved from it’s original release date of May 16, 2014 to August 1, 2014. This is an unusual move for Marvel Studios but nevertheless, was done for a reason. What that resin might have been? Well the Amazing Spider-Man 2 will be out the week before and the new Ninja Turtles film also looks slated for that date as well.

The film could be anything from Ant Man to Black Panther or The Guardians of the Galaxy but rest assured it will be Marvel which, given past track record, will be pretty epic. Marvel have a big couple of years ahead of them: Iron Man 3 on May 3, 2013, Thor 2 on November 15, 2013 and Captain America 2 on April 4, 2014.

The Avengers hits $178 Million!

The Avengers (known as The Avengers Assemble in some countries) has made $178.4 Million worldwide… Not a bad feat considering the film hasn’t even opened in the States yet. To compare, The Hunger Games made only $59 Million internationally on it’s opening weekend.  It opened on the top of the Box Office charts in every one of the 39 territories it has screened in since Wednesday. Breaking it down a little, $24.7 million from the UK, $19.7 million from Australia, $15.9 million from Mexico and $12.9 million from Korea. The Avengers opened in 94 IMAX cinemas, from those alone the film made a whopping $5.6 million (the highest gross for a Marvel IMAX title internationally), averaging over $59,000 per location.

Imagine the box office once it opens in the US on May 4th!

I recommended in my review of The Avengers that you see this film… I now recommend that you see it again!

84th Academy Award Winners

Here is a complete list of the winners of the 84th Oscar Ceremony. Stay tuned for my picks for 2011 coming up in the next little while.

Best Picture Best Director
Best Actor Best Actress
Best Supporting Actor Best Supporting Actress
Best Writing – Original Screenplay Best Writing – Adapted Screenplay
Best Animated Feature Best Foreign Language Film
Best Documentary – Feature Best Documentary – Short Subject
Best Live Action Short Film Best Animated Short Film
Best Original Score Best Original Song
Best Sound Editing Best Sound Mixing
Best Art Direction Best Cinematography
Best Makeup Best Costume Design
Best Film Editing Best Visual Effects

Steve Jobs Dies, Aged 56

Former CEO and founding member of Apple died today at the age of 56. Steve Jobs was not only a technology expert, he was the CEO of Pixar Animation Studios and a member of the Board of Directors of Disney. He was also an executive producer on 1995’s Toy Story.

Apple released the following statement… Apple has lost a visionary and creative genius, and the world has lost an amazing human being. Those of us who have been fortunate enough to know and work with Steve have lost a dear friend and an inspiring mentor. Steve leaves behind a company that only he could have built, and his spirit will forever be the foundation of Apple.

Walt Disney Company president Bob Iger said… Steve Jobs was a great friend as well as a trusted advisor. His legacy will extend far beyond the products he created or the businesses he built. It will be the millions of people he inspired, the lives he changed, and the culture he defined. Steve was such an “original,” with a thoroughly creative, imaginative mind that defined an era. Despite all he accomplished, it feels like he was just getting started. With his passing the world has lost a rare original, Disney has lost a member of our family, and I have lost a great friend. Our thoughts and prayers are with his wife Laurene and his children during this difficult time.

Finally, visionary filmmaker Steven Speilberg stated the following about the founder of Apple… Steve Jobs was the greatest inventor since Thomas Edison. He put the world at our fingertips.

The world has lost a true visionary and a very talented man in Steve Jobs. His entrepreneurial skills allowed him to drastically change the world of technology and animation. Macs make the world go round.

Steve Jobs

1955-2011