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- “We are in development of a few standalone films, that are not part of the Star Wars saga...”
- ―Bob Iger
On February 5, 2013, Bob Iger, CEO of The Walt Disney Company announced on CNBC that two Star Wars spin-off standalone films are in development, with Lawrence Kasdan attached to write Solo and Simon Kinberg to write the second film. Throughout 2013 Kinberg slowly drafted a story treatment for the film while also developing the television series Star Wars Rebels and the film Fantastic Four.
In 2014, after the first story treatment by Kinberg was submitted to Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy, Lucasfilm began formally looking for a director for the film. Kinberg suggested Josh Trank, who he had directed the film Fantastic Four from Kinberg's script. On June 4, 2014, Josh Trank was officially announced as the film's director, with a Summer 2018 release date being eyed for the film. After the premiere of Star Wars Rebels on Disney XD in Fall 2014 and the completion of principal photography on Fantastic Four, Simon Kinberg turned his attention to developing the first draft of the script for the film. On May 1, 2015, Josh Trank was removed as director of the film due to overwhelmingly negative responses to Fantastic Four. Lucasfilm continued to develop the film with Simon Kinberg continuing as screenwriter while the company searched for a new director, resulting in the film being delayed to 2020.
As a result of the delay, Solo received the film's original release date.