Confusion erupted in both the world of Hollywood and the Star Wars fandom this week as Han Solo directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller dropped out of the movie, six months into production.
After their success with writing and directing witty and irreverent movies such as 21 Jump Street, directing duo Lord and Miller landed a deal that many directors would kill for. But since the start of production, the pair clashed with Lucasfilm-leader Kathleen Kenedy, her team and even legendary Star Wars scribe Lawrence Kasdan. According to Variety, the pair never appreciated the tight control Kennedy had on set, and she and Kasdan, amongst others, didn’t approve of their directing process or the way they interacted with cast and crew.
As such, what with Kennedy being top dog; the pair were fired, seemingly leaving the film in disarray. Lord and Miller had this to say:
“Unfortunately, our vision and process weren’t aligned with our partners on this project. We normally aren’t fans of the phrase ‘creative differences’ but for once this cliché is true. We are really proud of the amazing and world-class work of our cast and crew”
As soon as the pair were out, rumours started to swirl that esteemed director Ron Howard would be brought in to take over. Today, those rumours proved to be true, as Lucasfilm gave the following announcement:
“At Lucasfilm, we believe the highest goal of each film is to delight, carrying forward the spirit of the saga that George Lucas began forty years ago. With that in mind, we’re thrilled to announce that Ron Howard will step in to direct the untitled Han Solo film. We have a wonderful script, an incredible cast and crew, and the absolute commitment to make a great movie. Filming will resume the 10th of July.”
Word from The Hollywood Reporter is that Howard’s first job will be to ‘meet with the actors to soothe a rattled set and will pore over a rough edit to see what the project has and still needs’. Following this, Howard will finish off the final three and a half weeks of shooting, before returning for the previously booked five weeks of reshoots.
The untitled Han Solo film is still on track for a May 25th 2017… apparently.