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Ron Howard is front-runner for Han Solo directing job - report

Ron Howard is reportedly being lined up to replace Phil Lord and Christopher Miller at the helm of the Han Solo spin-off movie.

Disney, who owns Lucasfilm, announced on Tuesday (20Jun17) that the directing duo had exited the project, with creative differences blamed for the departure.

"Phil Lord and Christopher Miller are talented filmmakers who have assembled an incredible cast and crew, but it’s become clear that we had different creative visions on this film, and we’ve decided to part ways," Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy said in a statement. "A new director will be announced soon."

Now Deadline is reporting that Kennedy and her team have filled the hole left by Lord and Miller with two-time Oscar winner Howard.

However, the celebrated director may have trouble fitting the movie's shoot into his packed schedule, as he's working on new flicks Seveneves and The Girl Before, as well as a documentary about Luciano Pavarotti.

Captain America: The First Avenger director Joe Johnston and Han Solo writer and producer Lawrence Kasdan have also been linked to the Han Solo project.

Lord and Miller, best known for their work on smash hit film The Lego Movie, confirmed their departure from the Star Wars spin-off in their own statement.

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

The untitled Han Solo movie stars Alden Ehrenreich as a young Solo, a part made famous by Harrison Ford in the original Star Wars films.

Woody Harrelson, Donald Glover and Emilia Clarke co-star, with the movie slated for a spring 2018 release.