Cannes Lions: Ron Howard Says Han Solo Film Was “a Little Opportunity That Came My Way”

The director also jokes at the Cannes Lions that he hopes the Donald Trump presidency will one day get dramatized as a musical comedy on Broadway called ‘Trumped.’

A day after being named the new director of Disney and Lucasfilm’s untitled Han Solo movie, Ron Howard took to the stage at Cannes Lions on Friday and briefly discussed the opportunity to contribute to the Star Wars universe. 

Interviewed onstage by Martin Sorrell, the founder and CEO of British ad company WPP, he called the film “a little opportunity that came my way.”

The Oscar winner replaced Lego Movie and 21 Jump Street directors Phil Lord and Christopher Miller, who parted ways with the studio Tuesday citing “creative differences.”

Howard later also said he’s been a Star Wars fan “forever,” adding: “It’s gratifying to lend my voice to the Star Wars universe now.”

The director also told the audience: “I’ve been around the Star Wars universe from the beginning,” and explained George Lucas was conceiving the story while they were working on American Graffiti. When Lucas first told him the idea, he said he thought it sounded “crazy.”

Howard recalled that when he first saw Star Wars, he waited in line with his wife for two hours. “We left almost speechless, and I said, ‘Do you want to see it again?'” he said.”And we got in line and waited another 90 minutes to see it twice the same day.”

Howard also discussed the Trump presidency and how it will one day portrayed on the screen, joking: “I’m looking forward to the day that … this presidency is dramatized years from now, that it’s a hysterical musical comedy on Broadway called Trumped.

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Asked what’s left to do for him, he said he’d love to do a Broadway musical and mentioned his team was working on an adaption of Nightshift and talking about possibly adapting Parenthood as well.

Discussing the project that he is most proud of, Howard mentioned Apollo 13.

Regarding the competition between Netflix, Amazon and others, Howard said: “I don’t think there’s going to be a winner. There may be a dominant platform, and I don’t think it’s going to be big-screen movies.”

He also said about streaming video services: “It’s an exciting time. You can tell more stories to niche audiences creatively. it’s liberating.”

Emilia Clarke, Woody Harrelson and Donald Glover will star in the Han Solo spin-off. Shooting is set to resume July 10. 

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