Ron Howard takes over as director of young Han Solo 'Star Wars' movie

(USA TODAY) -- Two decades after he told the story of NASA's most successful failure, Ron Howard is going back into space with the galaxy far, far away's most iconic smuggler.

Lucasfilm announced Wednesday that the Oscar-winning filmmaker of Apollo 13 has been named director of the upcoming young Han Solo Star Wars film starring Alden Ehrenreich in the role Harrison Ford made famous. The move comes on the heels of the departure of previous directors Phil Lord and Christopher Miller earlier in the week.

“We believe the highest goal of each film is to delight, carrying forward the spirit of the saga that George Lucas began 20 years ago,” Kathleen Kennedy, Lucasfilm president, said in a statement. “We have a wonderful script, an incredible cast and crew, and the absolute commitment to make a great movie."

Filming will resume July 10 and the movie is still scheduled for a May 2018 release.

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