News: Ron Howard Talks About Casting His Brother & How He Became Director Of Solo: A Star Wars Story

The cast and writers of Solo: A Star Wars Story took part in a conference to promote the film on Saturday at the Pasadena Convention Center. Ron Howard addressed several burning questions regarding his involvement in the film. One was how difficult it was for him to cast his brother Clint Howard in the film. He said that, "It was pretty damn easy." 

That innocent question opened the door for an even bigger one. After Phil Lord and Christopher Miller were ousted, how did he become the director of the film? Howard said:

"I did come into ['Solo'] late. It was a lot of work that Phil and Chris had done. And unfortunately, with creative differences, there was this circumstance where they were not going to carry on.

"Within [Lord and Miller's footage] there were a lot of things that were really strong and already worked and we knew we wanted to keep, and other things that hadn't been done yet," Howard continued. "And [there were] other scenes that I was given the opportunity to experiment with and explore."

"I sat down with [writers] Larry and Jon [Kasdan] and started talking about this and that. And there was this great scene with L3[-37] and it just sort of came up in conversation that L3 needed somebody to be pissed off at," added Howard, explaining how his brother's came about.

The cast and writers that attended the news conference included Jon Kasdan, Lawrence Kasdan, Thandie Newton, Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Woody Harrelson, Donald Glover, Alden Ehrenreich, Emilia Clarke, Joonas Suotamo, Paul Bettany and Ron Howard. 
Ehrenreich spoke about taking on the daunting role of Han Solo, saying that:

"It's really wild. It's really exciting. It's kind of bigger than you can even wrap your head around. Particularly being in the Millennium Falcon is very, very cool."

He also told the audience that original Han Solo actor Harrison Ford gave him a positive review.

"It's just such a huge deal to have him really genuinely enjoy the film," Ehrenreich said.

Writer Lawrence Kasdanspoke about his love for the Han Solo character and his introduction in A New Hope, saying:

"When I first saw Han Solo in the cantina, I immediately sparked to him. He lifted up the whole movie instantly. And I loved the movie," said Kasdan, adding that you can see everything you need to know about him in the few minutes of that scene. [He] is the kind of character I have loved always. This is a character who's reckless, who's cynical, doesn't trust anybody. Who's a little bit stupid. I love that. He just does things he shouldn't do." 

Glover explained how playing Lando Calrissian was just something he had to do, saying:

"When I heard they were making these, I told my agent, 'If they're making anything with Lando in it, I have to be Lando.' And he was like: 'I hear you. I don't like your odds. That was exactly what I needed to hear. I really auditioned like it was the only role I wanted in the world. It really was."

Emilia Clarke spoke about her role as the new character Qi'ra.

"She's a pretty mysterious character you need to keep tabs on throughout the movie," said Clarke, before hinting that what you don't see is just as important as what you do see.

Waller-Bridge, spoke about playing the new droid L3-37, explained:

"She's a self-made droid, so she created herself out of parts of other droids. Which sounds kind of frightening when you put it like that. She turned herself into a unique creature that's kind of taller, stronger, more independent than she originally was. She has an agenda that's bigger than the sum of her parts. It's great to play a droid with a message.

Bettany plays the villain Dryden Vos and said that his character is:

 "deliciously bad and [he's] really OK with it. [He's] just super happy about being evil." 

Cast and writers from "Solo" attend a conference Saturday in Pasadena From left: Jon Kasdan, Lawrence Kasdan, Thandie Newton, Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Woody Harrelson, Donald Glover, Alden Ehrenreich, Emilia Clarke, Joonas Suotamo, Paul Bettany and Ron Howard.

A new poster and official character descriptions were also recently released for SoloRon Howard took over the project in June after the original directors Phil Lord and Christopher Miller were fired. It features Alden Ehrenreich (Hail, Caesar!) as Han Solo, Donald Glover (Atlanta) as Lando Calrissian, Woody Harrelson (War for the Planet of the Apes) as Tobias Beckett, Joonas Suotamo as Chewbacca, Phoebe Waller-Bridge (Fleabag) as L3-37, Emilia Clarke (Game of Thrones) as Qi’Ra, Thandie Newton (Westworld) as Val, Ian Kenny (Sing Street) as Rebolt, Harley Durst (Wonder Woman) as Moloch, Jon Favreau (Spider-Man: Homecoming) as Rio Durant, Tien Hoang (Now You See Me 2) as Moloch’s henchman, Paul Bettany (Avengers: Infinity War) and Warwick Davis (Star Wars: Episode VI – Return of the Jedi).

"A new adventure with the most beloved scoundrel in the galaxy. Through a series of daring escapades deep within a dark and dangerous criminal underworld, Han Solo meets his mighty future copilot Chewbacca and encounters the notorious gambler Lando Calrissian, in a journey that will set the course of one of the Star Wars saga’s most unlikely heroes."

For young Han Solo, times are tough under Imperial rule. He makes his way as a reckless street thief, working for a notorious gang on Corellia, which is headed up by an ill-tempered crime boss. After an arduous stint as an Imperial mudtrooper, Han calls it quits and finds that he is very comfortable reinventing himself and travelling in the company of scoundrels around the galaxy. 

The mighty Wookiee is nearly two centuries old, but he has fallen on hard times during the age of the expanding Empire. When fate has Han and Chewbacca cross paths, Chewbacca embarks on a long, loyal and trusting friendship that he could have never expected.

Smooth, sophisticated Captain Lando Calrissian stands ready to retire from his life of a smuggler and become a full-time gambler. His calling is now to shuffle from one high-stakes card game to another across the galaxy as opportunities arise.

Qi’ra is deeply enmeshed in a life of crime as a member of a street gang on Corellia. Streetsmart, calculating and ambitious, she puts her early life as a powerless street urchin behind her and uses all her wits to move up in status within a prominent criminal organization.

There is no question that Beckett is a survivor. Seasoned, taciturn, and all-business, Beckett quietly works out all the angles to come out ahead. He’s put together a team of specialized thieves to carry out risky but profitable heists, which he carefully plans and executes.

Val is a trusted member of Beckett’s crew. Cool, bad-ass, and self-assured, Val is a no-nonsense woman who can be prickly at times, to say the least. She is a crack shot with a blaster rifle but may just be the most level-headed and capable member of Beckett’s ragtag crew of scoundrels.

L3-37 is Lando’s co-pilot and a self-made droid assembled from astromech and protocol parts. Despite her make-up, L3-37 is an enlightened navigator who cares deeply about droid rights.

Dryden Vos heads up an emerging criminal syndicate. Under Vos’ leadership, the organization quickly gains a reputation for ruthlessness. But as ruthless as Vos is, he is not a crude cutthroat, preferring instead to surround himself with luxury.