Ron Howard Discusses George Lucas’s Offer to Direct Phantom Menace Over the Sound of Your Wistful Sighs

Photo: Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images

While promoting his new joint In the Heart of the Sea, Ron Howard stopped by Josh Horowitz's podcast “Happy Sad Confused” and waxed nostalgic about that time George Lucas asked Howard to be the new George Lucas. "It was an honor, but it would’ve been just too daunting," the Willow director says about directing Phantom Menace. "He told me that he had talked to [Robert] Zemeckis, he talked to me, he talked to Steven Spielberg. I was the third one he spoke to. They'd all said the same thing: 'George, you should just do it!' Nobody wanted to follow that act, I don't think, at that point." If that list of potential directors makes you whine like a dog staring down a delicious Thanksgiving buffet, don't start salivating for a Ron Howard big-budget blockbuster just yet, because it will never, ever, ever, ever happen. "I really feel like you shouldn’t make a movie as a kind of exercise. You have to be all the way in. I was never a comic-book guy," Howard says later. "I've never said yes to one." Really throws a wrench in my plan to have Spielberg, Zemeckis, and Howard all remake The Phantom Menace in some kind of Star Wars director battle royale. My battle royales so rarely pan out.