Ron Howard takes over Han Solo movie

Cast of the Han Solo movie.
Cast of the Han Solo movie with ex-directors Chris Miller and Phil Lord. Photo credit: Lucasfilm/Disney

Oscar-winning director Ron Howard has stepped in to get the troubled Han Solo film back on track.

Howard, known for films like A Beautiful Mind and Apollo 13, takes over from Phil Lord and Chris Miller, who have left the Star Wars anthology project amid reports of conflicts with screenwriter Lawrence Kasdan.

"At Lucasfilm we believe the highest goal of each film is to delight, carrying forward the spirit of the saga that George Lucas began forty years ago," Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy said in a statement.

"With that in mind, we're thrilled to announce that Ron Howard will step in to direct the untitled Han Solo film. We have a wonderful script, an incredible cast and crew, and the absolute commitment to make a great movie."

The film was already five months into filming, which will resume with Howard at the helm on July 10. The planned release date - May 25, 2018 - is unchanged.

Howard has a long career working with Star Wars creator George Lucas; he starred in the director's 1973 film American Grafitti and directed Lucas' 1988 fantasy tale Willow.

Lord and Miller's credits include the Lego franchise, Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs and 21 Jump Street.

Kasdan is a veteran screenwriter, best-known for writing Star Wars' most critically acclaimed entry, The Empire Strikes Back.

Howard will have a busy next 12 months, with his cult TV show Arrested Development recently renewed for a fifth season.