Shocking no one, “Solo: A Star Wars Story” will remain a solo film. The film’s credited director Ron Howard confirmed the obvious on Wednesday, telling SirusXM’s Radio Andy that no sequel is in the works. Watch the clip above.
“Well, there’s no sequel planned now,” Howard said, before adding “it’s amazing to be a part of a Star Wars movie that seems to be a kind of underground hit, which is not what you’d expect, but that’s been an odd, strange journey for that movie.”
Calling “Solo” an “underground hit” is probably overstating reaction to the film, which received lukewarm reviews and performed well below expectations with a worldwide gross of only $393 million on a nearly $300 million budget. And that budget was higher than it needed to be thanks to serious behind-the-scenes drama that colored every aspect of production right up to release. The film was originally to be directed by Phil Lord and Chris Miller. But the “21 Jump Street” and “The Lego Movie” directors were firedin June 2017, five months after production began, due to clashes over story and tone with Lucasfilm boss Kathleen Kennedy and screenwriter Lawrence Kasdan.
Longtime Lucasfilm associate Ron Howard was hired two days later and ended up overseeing massive reshoots — and recastings — at a fast pace as Lucasfilm refused to move the film’s May 25, 2018 release date.
There were also reports that Alden Ehrenreich, hired to play Han Solo after his breakout role in the Coen Brothers’ “Hail, Caesar!” was paired up with an acting coach during production. In any event, the film was released a month after “Avengers: Infinity War,” and only a week after “Deadpool 2.” “Infinity War” ate everyone’s lunch that summer on its way to a $2 billion box office haul, though “Deadpool 2” managed to rake in a respectable $783 million of its own.
But it wasn’t just a matter of box office of course. “Solo” was the second entry in the now-aborted “Star Wars Story” line of standalone “Star Wars” spinoff movies set at corners of the Galaxy Far, Far Away not involving the Skywalker family. Which means it was never necessarily intended to have a sequel — even if the much more successful “Rogue One” is getting one in the form of a Disney+ TV series focused on the character Cassian Andor, played by Diego Luna.
All of which is to say, yeah, it’s not a surprise there won’t be a sequel.