“I’ve been a fan forever,” said Howard, speaking Friday at the Cannes Lions advertising and media conference. “It’s gratifying to be asked to lend my voice to the [Star Wars] universe.”
Disney’s Lucasfilm on Thursday officially tapped Howard to finish making the movie, after studio president Kathleen Kennedy fired directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller this week because the duo were seen as overstepping their remit by going off-script with comedic touches.
“It’s a little opportunity that came my way,” Howard said when initially asked about the “Star Wars” job by panel moderator Sir Martin Sorrell, founder and CEO of Wpp.
Howard recalled that in 1972, George Lucas told him about his plans for a “fun” sci-fi film, incorporating special effects like those used in Stanley Kubrick’s “2001: A Space Odyssey,” when Howard was appearing as an actor in Lucas’ “American Graffiti” (which also featured Harrison Ford, who went on to play Han Solo).
Ron Howard to Take Over as Director of ‘Star Wars’ Han Solo Spinoff
When “Star Wars” came out, on opening day Howard said he and his wife, Cheryl, went to go see it — and they stood in line for two hours to get in. “I was so moved by the movie,” he said. “I was transported by the movie… We literally left almost speechless.” They decided to see it again, and waited another 90 minutes in line.
Shooting on the “Star Wars” Han Solo movie was three-fourths completed when Lord and Miller were given the boot. Howard has already begun work on the project, with shooting set to resume July 10. The movie was already scheduled for five weeks of re-shoots later in 2017.
“So many people involved in the ‘Star Wars’ franchise are friends,” Howard said. “It’s already been in production, and there’s a lot of really great work there.”
Howard appeared on stage at the Palais des Festivals’ Lumiere Theatre here with Wpp’s Sorrell and Robert Kraft, owner of the New England Patriots and Major League Soccer’s New England Revolution. (Howard and Kraft were previously scheduled to appear at a post-panel press conference but only Sorrell showed up.)
Han Solo Firing: Will Ron Howard Share Directing Credit With Lord & Miller?
Sorrell’s Wpp is an investor in Imagine Entertainment, the production company co-founded and run by Howard and Brian Grazer. With the infusion of $100 million from Raine Group last year, Howard said the company is planning to expand beyond TV and film into branded-content work.
“That’s one of the reasons I’m here [at Cannes Lions],” Howard said. “The next iteration of Imagine, the one we hope goes forward and beyond us, is all about storytelling.”
Asked by Sorrell about their thoughts on President Trump, Kraft declined to comment while Howard chimed in with this: “I’m really hopeful that when this presidency is dramatized years from now, it is as a lovely, hilarious Broadway musical called ‘Trumped.'”
Also on the panel, Kraft commented on the process of picking high-quality talent while looking for people who can check their ego at the door.
“We’re in an ego-driven business — and when we’re doing well, the question is, who gets the credit?” Kraft said. He added, however, “You have to put up with a certain amount of nonsense… People who are really talented, off the charts, are different.”
Sorrell quipped: “We have no egos in the advertising business. We don’t even know how to spell ‘ego.'”
Howard, in his 30-plus years as a filmmaker, has made more than 50 movies including “Night Shift,” “Splash,” “Cocoon,” “Parenthood,” “Backdraft,” “The Da Vinci Code,” “Apollo 13” and “A Beautiful Mind,” which won four Academy Awards including for best director and best picture. However, his more recent films, including “Inferno,” “In the Heart of the Sea,” “Rush” and “The Dilemma,” have fared poorly at the box office.
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His hire comes after the movie’s original directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller were fired Tuesday, while in the middle of production after clashing with producer and Lucasfilm chief Kathleen Kennedy and co-writer/executive producer Lawrence Kasdan. The duo, who had previously overseen “The Lego Movie” and “21 Jump Street,” wanted to inject more humor into the storyline and encouraged improvisation, something Kasdan did not appreciate.
12 Directors Who Were Pushed from the Director’s Chair
Howard will begin work immediately. The picture still has several weeks left on its shooting schedule, and five additional weeks of pre-scheduled reshoots that were planned for later this year. The exact amount of time and money that it will take to actually complete the production (which was about three-quarters finished when the directors were fired), will vary depending on how much rewriting and reshooting Howard deems is necessary after reviewing the script and shot footage.
It is unclear just how Howard will be credited and whether he will share directing credit with Lord and Miller, or potentially take no credit at all (though that seems unlikely). Lord and Miller have the right to appeal any decision, but ultimately, the Directors Guild of America will make the call.
Why Movies Need Directors Like Phil Lord and Chris Miller More Than Ever
Howard previously worked with Lucasfilm on 1988’s “Willow,” a fantasy adventure that garnered two technical Ocscar nominations (visual effects and sound editing) but was a box office disappointment. Howard’s credits also include hits such as “Parenthood,” “Splash,” “Backdraft,” “The Da Vinci Code,” “Apollo 13” and 2001’s “A Beautiful Mind,” about the brilliant, anti-social mathematician John Nash, which won four top Academy Awards including best director and best picture.
These days, however, the former child actor is in need of a big hit. He’s had a string of duds that include “Inferno,” “In the Heart of the Sea,” “Rush,” and “The Dilemma.” His last significant success was 2009’s “Angels & Demons.”
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With Actors, Directors, Actresses and Screenwriters under our collective belt and Cinematographers still to come, we presently turn our eye towards Composers, whose music lends so much to the films they work on.
As with the other lists, credit is given for not merely one or two sterling scores, but rather a consistently excellent body of work with specific stand-out films. To be blunt, this is a trickier prospect than it at first appears. Just because a film is terrific or well-loved doesn’t necessarily mean that the score is itself a standout. We begin with perhaps the most obvious and celebrated film composer of them all…..
John Williams – Star Wars
Goodness me. The Poseidon Adventure, The Towering Inferno, Earthquake, Jaws, Raiders of the Lost Ark, The Long Goodbye, Catch Me If You Can, Star Wars, Close Encounters, Star Wars, Superman, Et, Born on the Fourth of July,
Prize Details: (3) Winners will receive (1) Blu-ray copy of Virus.
How to Enter: We're giving Daily Dead readers multiple chances to enter and win:
1. Instagram: Following us on Instagram during the contest period will give you an automatic contest entry. Make sure to follow us at:
2. Email: For a chance to win via email, send an email to email@example.com with the subject “Virus Contest”. Be sure to include your name and mailing address.
Entry Details: The contest will end at 12:01am Est on May 9th. This contest is only open to those who are eighteen years of age or older that live in the United States.
Other notable releases for May 2nd include Camino, Fear, Inc., The Naked Cage, The Windmill, Tunnel, and The Hexecutioners.
Beyond the Gates (Scream Factory/IFC Midnight, Blu-ray & DVD)
Welcome, curious viewers…have you the courage to go Beyond The Gates?
After their father’s unexplained disappearance, two estranged brothers (responsible
An eclectic array of international producers are assembling on intriguing European Film Market (Efm) script See How We Are, the new project from Gregory Widen, the creator of the Highlander and The Prophecy franchises.
Producers on the fantasy project include Stephen L’Heureux (Sin City: A Dame to Kill For) of Solipsist Films, Phin Glynn (Mad to be Normal) of Bad Penny Productions and Wild Tales [pictured], The Secret In Their Eyes and Neruda producer Axel Kuschevatzky.
Widen, who also wrote 90’s thriller Backdraft, has written the script and will direct, marking only his second feature as director after the first instalment in The Prophecy (1995) franchise, starring Christopher Walken and Viggo Mortensen.
Bad Penny Productions, the fledgling UK outfit whose slate includes David Tennant projects Mad To Be Normal and You, Me And Him, will also finance
The Virus Blu-ray special features have yet to be announced, but stay tuned to Daily Dead, as we will inform our readers when that news becomes available, and check out the official announcement and cover art below.
From Scream Factory: “We are now taking pre-orders for our upcoming release of the 1999 sci-fi thriller Virus which makes its Blu-ray format debut in the U.S. & Canada! A release date is planned for May 2nd.
Legendary Scream Queen Jamie Lee Curtis plays the navigator of a tugboat crew which loses its cargo during a hurricane. In the calm eye of the storm, they come across a Russian research ship floating dead in the water. Boarding the vessel, they initially believe it to be deserted…
Now, I want to preface this piece by saying that I am a massive fan of Hans Zimmer, truly one of the most innovative and compelling forces in film music (when he chooses to be). From his revolutionary synth breakout with the likes of Rain Man and Driving Miss Daisy in the 1980s to the thunderous action of Backdraft and his multi-faceted collaborations with Ridley Scott (Thelma and Louise, Gladiator, Hannibal et al), Zimmer is a superb storyteller who doesn’t deserve the mud that is often slung at him. On tour in the UK at the moment, Zimmer has recently courted a lot of press attention with his high-profile announcement that he is to ‘retire’ from scoring superhero movies.
And this brings me to Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.
The sensational, overlooked film scores from the years 1990 to 1999 that really are well worth digging out...
The movies went through tumultuous and exciting changes in the nineties. Quentin Tarantino exploded onto the scene with Reservoir Dogs, Generation X gave rise to slacker marvels like Clerks, and blockbusters like The Matrix put the awe back into special effects.
However, the 90s was also a sensational decade for film music, gifting us classics including the likes of Jurassic Park, Titanic, Total Recall, Braveheart and countless others. But the sheer quality of these soundtrack treasures shouldn’t overshadow those undervalued hidden gems that demonstrate the extraordinary range and versatility of our finest film composers, ones that may have passed you by. So here’s our selection of those incredible works: ranging from the earworming to the unsettling, the melodic to the chaotic, these are the scores that simply demand your attention.
Fresh off its single-season run on ABC in 2014-2015, Forever: The Complete Series includes all 22 episodes as well as additional never-before-seen deleted scenes from many of the episodes on a 5-disc DVD set. Creator and Executive Producer Matthew Miller (Chuck, Human Target, The 100) is thrilled the series will live on through its DVD release.
“We’re so proud of this series and the way it resonated with fans,” Miller says. “I’m excited for the fans that we’re not only able to release all 22 episodes on DVD, but include previously unseen footage. It’s another chance to breathe new life into the show for both devoted fans and new viewers.”
The series’ premise struck an
This fascination with multiple platforms for storytelling has earned Howard box office success, as well as two Oscars, four Emmys, a Directors Guild of America Award and a host of additional laurels, including his second star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame that he will receive Dec. 10.
If there’s a unifying element in Howard’s film career, it is his adherence to the story at the core of each project.
“I’m always attracted to stories on a thematic level,
“This was the hardest movie that I’ve done,” Hemsworth told Variety at the film’s New York premiere at the Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Frederick P. Rose Hall Monday night. “It was brutal. I was challenged physically, mentally and emotionally. The role really tested my commitment to acting. There were days where I kind of went insane and was very moody and exhausted because I was so hungry.”
Hemsworth and his costars went on a 500-calorie-a-day diet to lose weight in four weeks and ate mainly vegetables and boiled eggs. Their roles also required them to act in real boats around the Canary Islands under the scorching sun and swim in a 500-gallon water tank at Leavesden Studios.
She joins a cast that includes Michael Stahl-David as Bobby Kennedy, Richard Jenkins as Richard Russell, Bill Pullman as Ralph Yarborough and Kim Allen as Jackie Kennedy.
Reiner will direct from a script by Joey Hartstone, which follows Lyndon Baines Johnson’s ascension from the poor hill country of West Texas to the corridors of power in Washington. He was thrust into the presidency by the 1963 assassination of John F. Kennedy and signed civil rights legislation banning racial discrimination in public facilities, the workplace and housing.
Lady Bird Johnson was born as Claudia Alta Taylor and married Lyndon B. Johnson in 1934. She took an expanded role in the 1960 campaign due to Jackie Kennedy’s pregnancy and was by his side in Dallas in 1963 when he was sworn in.
“Lbj” is produced by Acacia Entertainment,
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