“In a surprise announcement today, director Ron Howard revealed the official name of the untitled Han Solo film: Solo: A Star Wars Story. The announcement came in a post in which the acclaimed filmmaker (with a little help from an anonymous Wookiee) thanked his cast and crew as principal photography wrapped.
Check out his special message below:
[…] Solo: A Star Wars Story, set prior to the events of the original Star Wars trilogy, is slated for release on May 25, 2018.”
From Omega Underground:
“Today, we at Omega Underground have uncovered the production title for the upcoming Star Wars anthology film featured around Obi-Wan Kenobi. According to a recent listing for Obi-Wan: A Star Wars Story the working title is Joshua Tree. Other recent working titles for Star Wars productions include Space Bears for The Last Jedi and Red Cup for Han Solo (we confirmed back in December).
Why is this working title important?
Joshua Tree (aka desert yucca palm tree) could be hinting to Joshua Tree Nation Park in Southern California (along with other parks) as a possible shooting location for the new anthology film. The original Star Wars shot some Tatooine scenes at Death Valley National Park and surrounding locations. The location tease supports fan speculation that the Kenobi film will indeed take place on Tatooine.
Located primarily in the Southern California Desert with a small portion extending into Nevada, Death Valley National Park covers 3.4 million acres (14,000 km), making it the largest park in the lower 48 states. Within this acreage is an almost complete spectrum of the Earth’s geological eras that are well worth a visit beyond the shooting locations.
In January 1977, George Lucas took a second-unit team to Death Valley to film some leftover pick-up shots that weren’t filmed in Tunisia due to difficulties they had encountered there.
The StarWars website also references U2’s Joshua Tree to Death Valley’s Zabriskie Point, one of the locations for A New Hope.
Zabriskie Point, a famous viewpoint just east of Furnace Creek. Come at dawn for the best lightning of these badlands. Zabriskie Point can also been seen on U2’s Joshua Tree album cover.”
“Michael Kenneth Williams, an Emmy nominee for his supporting role in HBO’s The Night Of, will not be in the new Star Wars stand-alone Han Solo movie after all. His part has been cut amid the reshoots now underway with new director Ron Howard. Williams said the revamped production schedule conflicted with his commitment to spy drama The Red Sea Diving Resort, his new movie now shooting in South Africa with Ben Kingsley and Chris Evans.
“I felt great about what I created with the directors that I worked with,” said Williams, who was cast in the Han Solo origin story by original helming duo Phil Lord and Chris Miller, who exited in June. “It is what it is.”
“When Ron Howard got hired to finish out the film, there were some reshoot issues that needed to be done in regards to my character, in order for it to match the new direction which the producers wanted Ron to carry the film in,” Williams told Deadline. “And that would have required me on a plane a month ago to London, to Pinewood, to do reshoots. But I’m here, on location in Africa. It’s scheduling. I’m not going to be back on the market until the end of November after [his SundanceTV series] Hap and Leonard, and for them to wait that long for me, that would have pushed back the release date, which I believe is in May 2018. They wanted me now; I couldn’t go. So they had to clip-clip-clip.”
Plot and character details had been kept under wraps, but Williams said he played a half-human, half-animal in the film and that “we created a kick-ass character, in my opinion. I’m proud of it.””
From Vanity Fair:
[Williams on his character:] ““He wore this beautiful white kimono, was very regal. He had class, money strength, charisma . . . and he knew how to fight. He was a warrior. He had a lot of prestige. If he lived in our world he would probably hang out with Jay Z and Beyoncé.””
From The Hollywood Reporter:
“The Obi-Wan Kenobi stand-alone is one of several projects being developed by Lucasfilm and Disney that fall outside the trilogies telling the saga of the Skywalker family. A Han Solo movie is now in the final stages of shooting under new director Ron Howard, and Lucasfilm is also considering movies centering on Yoda and bounty hunter Boba Fett, among other characters.”
“Disney has been developing several standalone pics with the goal of keeping fans buying tickets while they wait for the next episodes in the main new trilogy. “Rogue One” was the first of the standalones, and Disney is currently shooting an untitled origin tale of beloved smuggler Han Solo. Some of the other standalones in development include a Jabba the Hutt story and a Boba Fett movie.”
From The Hollywood Reporter:
“Stephen Daldry is Star Wars’ new hope.
The Oscar-nominated director behind Billy Elliot and The Hours is in early talks to direct a Star Wars standalone movie centering on Obi-Wan Kenobi, The Hollywood Reporterhas learned.
Sources say talks are at the earliest of stages and that the project has no script. If a deal makes, Daldry would oversee the development and writing with Lucasfilm brass. It’s not known at this stage if Ewan McGregor will reprise his role.
The Obi-Wan Kenobi standalone is one of several projects being developed by Lucasfilm and Disney that fall outside the trilogies telling the saga of the Skywalker family. A Han Solo movie is now in the final stages of shooting under new director Ron Howard and Lucasfilm is also looking at movies featuring Yoda and bounty hunter Boba Fett, among others.”
“Composer John Powell, who may be best known for his memorable soundtracks to the Matt Damon Bourne series, Shrek, Kung Fu Panda (1 and 2), and How to Train Your Dragon (1 and 2), will be lifting the baton to score the upcoming young Han Solo movie, due in theaters next year.
Powell, a London native, has written music for dozens of films since moving to the US in 1997, earning an Academy Award nomination for his stirring score to How to Train Your Dragon. Powell is only the third composer to be welcomed into the exclusive family of Star Wars live-action music writers, which includes the legendary John Williams (the eight Skywalker saga movies) and Michael Giacchino, who scored last December’s Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. The untitled Han Solo movie will be scored in the style of the original Star Wars movies but retain Powell’s distinctive voice.”
George Lucas says he thinks Ron Howard “will be great” as the Han Solo movie new director. But he won’t advise him. “Not my job”, says the maker.
Reminder: Lucas directed Howard in American Graffiti (1973), and he made him direct Willow (1988) for Lucasfilm.