New director Ron Howard has revealed his first big casting addition for Han Solo by sharing a picture of Paul Bettany on the film's set. Lucasfilm's young Han Solo movie encountered a shocking change a few months ago when it was revealed that directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller had been fired. This was a result of their directorial style not meshing well with what Lucasfilm initially envisioned, and put them on a hunt to find a replacement director. Ron Howard was quickly named to fill that role and has since went on a social media spree to make everyone feel at ease with Han Solo.
Most of these pictures and videos have been harmless and fun, offering fans a behind-the-scenes look at the making of a Star Wars film that is rarely made available as production continues. But, whether it has been a tease of the Empire's presence or a number of different pictures, Howard's teases have continued to generate discussion. Now, he's used them to announce his newest cast member.
Howard's latest tweet came in celebration of Force Friday II, but instead of him buying toys for Star Wars: The Last Jedi, Howard is spending time with Paul Bettany on the set of Han Solo. Although it wasn't clear at first if Bettany was just visiting the movie's set, Howard confirmed in a follow-up tweet that he's once again working with Bettany (who then responded in the affirmative):
— Ron Howard (@RealRonHoward) September 1, 2017
Love coming to work everyday, and laughing with an old friend. #ronisaprince
— Paul Bettany (@Paul_Bettany) September 1, 2017
Bettany has worked with Howard previously with A Beautiful Mind and The Da Vince Code, so the two are no strangers. Even though the role has yet to be confirmed, it makes sense for Howard to pull someone he is familiar with into the film in a pinch. Plus, both are part of the Disney family in some way - and with Bettany's schedule for Avengers 4 unknown, he may have had an opening in his schedule and the pull of Star Wars must've been too much to pass up.
Beyond that, their previous working relationship also makes it more believable that Bettany would be a prime candidate to join Han Solo in some capacity. The film recently lost costar Michael K. Williams due to the reshoots that Howard has been orchestrating and it's now being reported that Bettany is taking on the role that Williams would have played (had his schedule allowed). We'll have to wait to find out his role, but an Outer Rim based character could indicate the type of adventure that the movie will offer.
Source: Ron Howard
- Star Wars 8/Star Wars: The Last Jedi (2017) release date: Dec 15, 2017
- Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018) release date: May 25, 2018
- Star Wars 9 / Star Wars: Episode IX (2019) release date: Dec 20, 2019