It wasn’t very well reviewed and disappointed at the box office, but in the universe of Star Wars fanboys, even Solo: A Star Wars story has its adherents (disclosure: I am one of them). So when NME took a tour through Ron Howard’s oeuvre with the director, the mandatory question about a sequel had to be asked.
“The only discussion that I’m aware of about a sequel for Solo is coming from the fans at this point,” Howard said diplomatically. “I don’t think it’s a Lucasfilm priority, as I understand it.”
Lucasfilm boss Kathleen Kennedy told Vanity Fair that she learned on Solo that the one thing you cannot do in the Star Wars universe is recast a core character.
“There should be moments along the way when you learn things,” said Kennedy. “Now it does seem so abundantly clear that we can’t do that.”
Kennedy took over Lucasfilm in 2012 with a goal to inject new energy into the Star Wars franchise. Solo was one such attempt, with Alden Ehrenreich in the iconic Han Solo role pioneered by Harrison Ford. It didn’t work.
Howard, however, does hold out some hope.
“There’s some great characters launched, and the folks from Lucasfilm love the fans and really do listen so I would never say never – but I’m not aware of any concrete plans right now to extend the story or deal with that particular set of characters.”
Howard took the reins on Solo less than a year before its release and about five months after directing duo Phil Lord and Christopher Miller had begun principle production in London. Lord and Miller said at the time they bowed out due to creative differences.
“Unfortunately, our vision and process weren’t aligned with our partners on this project,” the duo said in a statement. “We normally aren’t fans of the phrase ‘creative differences’ but for once this cliché is true. “
Not long after, The Hamden Journal reported that Howard was set to step in and resume filming that July.