Ron Howard is photographed at the 'Inferno' film premiere on Oct. 25, 2016 in Los Angeles. (Buckner/Rex Shutterstock/Zuma Press/TNS)

Ron Howard is photographed at the 'Inferno' film premiere on Oct. 25, 2016 in Los Angeles. (Buckner/Rex Shutterstock/Zuma Press/TNS)

Buckner/Rex Shutterstock/TNS

Earlier this week there was a great disturbance in the Force, as if millions of optimistic spin-off fans suddenly cried out in terror, and were suddenly silenced. Phil Lord and Christopher Miller, the Lego Movie and 21 Jump Street directors that were leading the untitled Han Solo Star Wars spin-off movie, abruptly cut ties with the movie, which is well into shooting.

On Thursday, Disney announced that Academy Award-winning director Ron Howard is stepping in to finish the job.

"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. "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. Filming will resume the 10th of July."

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When Lord and Miller left, their statement said, "Unfortunately, our vision and process weren't aligned with our partners on this project. We normally aren't fans of the phrase 'creative differences' but for once this cliché is true. We are really proud of the amazing and world-class work of our cast and crew."

Variety reports that Lord and Miller were fired after "clashing" with Kennedy on the project. The story says, "Miller and Lord were stunned to find that they were not being granted freedom to run the production in the manner that they were accustomed to. They balked at Kennedy's tight control on the set."

The as-of-yet-untitled Han Solo film stars Alden Ehrenreich as Solo and Donald Glover as Lando Calrissian. Woody Harrelson and Emilia Clarke also star. 

Disney says that the film's release date -- scheduled for May 25, 2018 -- is unchanged.

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