“Han Solo” gets a dose of Opie

soloThere’s trouble on the stand-alone “Han Solo” prequel at Lucasfilms.

As in, cartoon directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller (“Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs,” “The LEGO Movie”) delivered a film that Lucasfilm isn’t happy with it. The all-important “tone” wasn’t right. Hell, where was that realization when “The Force Awakens” stayed in snooze mode.

Anyway, “Star Wars” veteran and “Big Chill/French Kiss” legend Lawrence Kasdan scripted “Han Solo” and he was having creative differences with the two. Were they going for something lighter? If so, bummer. A little levity would have awakened “Awakens.” I like Lord and Miller.

“Rogue One” is what every “Star Wars” movie should be shooting for, in terms of tone and approach to the universe. Gravitas, doom, with moments of wit and levity.

More Donnie Yen! More Forest Whitaker!

Anyway, Lord and Miller are out, and Ron Howard — pretty far removed from “Rush,” decades past “Apollo 13,” is stepping in. The “safe” choice, sure. And why not?

Among the Big Name directors still showing up on set, Howard’s a solid B+. And we were never going to see a Spielberg, Scorsese et al on board. Favreau would have been a good, safe choice, too.

But Howard and Lucas go waaaaaaaay back, to “American Graffiti,” to “Willow.”  They’re contemporaries, like Kasdan and Lucas. And Howard’s had an ongoing relationship with Lucasfilm, one of those extra sets of eyes George has relied on, over the decades, to get the “Star Wars” jobs done.

Howard will supervise FIVE WEEKS of reshoots and re-editing, “toning” up, as it were. He’ll get the credit if it clicks, and little of the blame if it fails. Win win!


About Roger Moore

Movie Critic, formerly with McClatchy-Tribune News Service, Orlando Sentinel, published in Spin Magazine, The World and now published here, Orlando Magazine, Autoweek Magazine
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