Film fans were shocked at the news today of directors Phil Lord and Christopher Miller being no longer involved in the Untitled Han Solo film. The official word from Lucasfilm was posted on www.starwars.com and featured a very… safe wording of this crazy turn of events:
The untitled Han Solo film will move forward with a directorial change.
“Phil Lord and Christopher Miller are talented filmmakers who have assembled an incredible cast and crew, but it’s become clear that we had different creative visions on this film, and we’ve decided to part ways. A new director will be announced soon,” said Kathleen Kennedy, president of Lucasfilm.
“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,” stated Phil Lord and Christopher Miller.
The untitled Han Solo film remains scheduled for a May 2018 release.
This is insane. The film is still scheduled for its release date in a little less than twelve months time. We know the cast and crew has been shooting the film since January, so we can imagine the film is quite deep into production. Sure, we know Rogue One had some reshoots and changes made in post, but they at least let Gareth Edwards finish shooting. Something must have really been off on set between Lord & Miller, and Lucasfilm – but surely they could have realised this culture clash, you know, BEFORE THEY STARTED SHOOTING.
Speaking with the crew of So Is It Any Good, its clear that Lord and Miller involvement was a huge part of why people were excited about this Han Solo spin off – the pair have an amazing track record and bring life and joy to concepts that seem stretched or unnecessary – case in point – the Han Solo film. What makes matters worse is, what director in their right mind is going to come into this picture and try to salvage what they have and claim the whole thing as their own. Unless they re-shoot for 6 months, alot of the pieces are already going to be in place.
In the wake of the news, Variety posted an interesting follow up article containing quotes from a ‘source’ close to production – the most interesting of which read:
The directors did not leave the production voluntarily, but were fired by LucasFilm.
In the wake of this news, a few directors have been reported as ‘front runners’, including Ron Howard, Joe Johnson and Han Solo writer Lawrence Kasdan. Kasdan seems like the logical choice – having written the script for the film, being a notable director in his own right, and already has a working establish relationship with Lucasfilm, but some rules with the Directors Guild may cause him to not be eligible for the gig. In my mind, Ron Howard seems like a stretch. Sure, he’s worked with Lucasfilm before (Willow!), but I just can’t imagine him being interested in finishing somebody else’s film. Joe Johnson, on the other hand, I’m sure would to get back to working on Star Wars (having worked behind the scenes on the original trilogy), but with his recent gig behind the camera on the new Narnia film may complicate this.
It’s not looking good behind the scenes for these Star Wars spin off. Sure, they knocked it out of the park with Rogue One, but between it’s own behind the scenes issues, director Josh Trank leaving his spin off and now this – it seems like Lucasfilm is holding the creative leashes tight.
Are you as shocked as we are at this news? Let us know what you think in the comments below!