Star Wars director Ron Howard responds to Solo sequel Disney Plus rumors

Isaac McIntyre

Venerated director Ron Howard has quashed growing industry rumors that ‘Solo: A Star Wars Story’ has quietly had a Disney Plus sequel greenlit behind the scenes, in an attempt to revive Han Solo’s original three-film prequel series.

2018’s Solo was one of the biggest flops of Disney’s new Star Wars empire. It arrived just six months after the most divisive release in the franchise yet, The Last Jedi, and was the first Disney flick to cop mounting fan backlash on its bottom line.

The spinoff movie rewound the Star Wars clock, all the way back to a decade prior to events of A New Hope, and told Han Solo and Chewbacca’s origin story before their iconic meeting with Luke Skywalker and Obi-Wan Kenobi in the Mos Eisley cantina.

Solo (2018) is set ten years before Han and Chewie walk into the Mos Eisley cantina.
Solo (2018) is set ten years before Han and Chewie walk into the Mos Eisley cantina in Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope.

At the time, lead actor Alden Ehrenreich inked a three-year deal, and it looked like ‘Solo’ was locked in for a prequel trilogy. The first film debuted with a whimper, however ⁠— Solo brought in just $11.4 million in its opening weekend, far below Disney’s predicted $340 million.

The trilogy plan was suspended, and it looked like Solo’s bold plan had been scuppered just a single film into its run. That is, until new rumors rumbled to life earlier this month, suggesting Disney was planning a secret Solo revival.

Ehrenreich himself was the first to set the flame ablaze, telling Esquire he’d “heard stuff, but nothing concrete.” Soon after, CBR reported that the idea of taking Solo to Disney Plus had “evolved greatly” so far this year.

Unfortunately, it looks like those rumors may have just been chins wagging ⁠— and Star Wars fans crossing fingers ⁠— after director Ron Howard spoke about the chance of a Solo sequel on New York radio show SiriusXM this week.

“It’s amazing to be part of a Star Wars movie that seems to be a kind of underground hit, which is not what you expect. It’s been an odd, strange journey for that film,” he said in regards to a rumored Solo followup. “[But], there’s no sequel planned now.”

Han Solo Star Wars sequel
Star Wars fans may be waiting a while to get their Han Solo fill, says Ron Howard.

Howard may not be coming back to the Star Wars franchise any time soon, but his daughter Bryce Dallas Howard has actually been hard at work with the popular Disney Plus show The Mandalorian. She directed Season 1’s fourth episode.

The Mandalorian season 2 is expected to hit Disney+ sometime in October 2020. It will be followed by animated Clone Wars spinoff The Bad Batch, which Star Wars announced would be coming to streaming services in mid-2021.

Disney seems to be doubling down on Disney Plus now. Donald Glover is rumored to be returning as Lando for a new series, while Hayden Christensen may also make his Anakin Skywalker return in 2022’s planned Obi-Wan Kenobi series.

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