Holy cannoli! As I’m sure everyone has heard, read, or seen by now, the Untitled Han Solo film lost both of its directors–Phil Lord and Chris Miller. In a shocking news release via StarWars.com, fans around the world are scratching their heads, some are even screaming, as to why and how this could happen. Although we still do not know the details, keep reading to get caught up on what we know so far and possibly what it could mean for the film.
You can read the full article from StarWars.com here, but these are the key pieces of information to know. The first taken from Kathleen Kennedy’s statement:
It’s become clear that [Phil Lord and Chris Miller and I] had different creative visions on this film, and we’ve decided to part ways. A new director will be announced soon.
And this taken from the directors’ statement:
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.
Creative differences is something thrown around from time to time. Lord knows the DC Cinematic Universe is quite familiar with that term, but it is something that you really don’t want to see in Star Wars. Granted, I have spoken my fair share of worries about this Han Solo movie on our blog and our podcast, but I still feel like the movie was in good hands in terms of story and vision. Well, now my faith is shaken even in that respect.
Chris Miller and Phil Lord, respectively.
Before I get too far into my thoughts, there are some further details as to the circumstances surrounding the departure.
Variety reports that the “creative differences” started from day one of production. Kathleen Kennedy and the directors conflicted over the vision of the film, the shooting style, and even the interactions between the directors and the cast and crew. This sounds so bizarre and it’s incredibly surprising! The Star Wars press release made it seem mutual and amicable, but do not be fooled. This is a firing plain and simple. The directors left praising the talent of the cast and crew, and Kennedy stated how talented the filmmakers are in their craft. However, not good enough for Star Wars, I suppose. Variety’s article reports that the duo directors also clashed with Lawrence Kasdan, the film’s screenwriter!
The latest piece of news comes from Deadline, about who could replace Miller and Lord. It seems Lucasfilm is talking to Oscar winning Director Ron Howard.
I am a huge Ron Howard fan. A Beautiful Mind is one of my favorite movies, and Arrested Development is still one of the best comedic shows out there (the earlier seasons, at least). I don’t know why he wasn’t considered right off the bat. I would love to see a Ron Howard Star Wars film–that is, one he saw through from start to finish, not one where he’s just mopping up.
With only a few weeks left of shooting, how much can Howard, or any director, really accomplish? Kathleen Kennedy would have seen footage from set early on. If she was so unhappy, then why the late change in direction? I’ll be honest, I was skeptical of the duo from Lego Movie at the helm of Han Solo, but sort of forced myself to wait and see how it would turn out.
From the article in Variety, it seems Kathleen Kennedy was supportive of the more “comedic” direction for the Han Solo film. It’s possible that Lord and Miller were making it too comedic, or too slapstick. I honestly don’t know if I buy it, but it is possible that the directors, who’s fame includes 21 Jumpstreet and 22 Jumpstreet, could very well not have the same sense of humor as Kennedy and Kasdan. Maybe Lucasfilm wanted it a little more toned down. This is all speculation. I’m reaching for straws to try and understand all this chaos!
Bottom line is the story is the story. Lawrence Kasdan wrote the film with his son. I believe the story will be good. It is only the vision and direction of the two directors that didn’t jive with Lucasfilm. But honestly, a lot of the blame is on Lucasfilm for not taking these actions sooner.
The verdict is out whether this is a good move or a bad one. It’s definitely unfortunate, but hopefully this means the movie will be better. With most of the movie already shot, I can’t see it being saved a whole lot if it was indeed damaged. That is, of course, they reshoot the bulk of the story. This would be a much larger scale reshoot than the whole Rogue One controversy. Even though that actually turned out great, reshooting the majority of a film does not bode well.
Han Solo is still being slated for May 25, 2018. That could be pushed to December, given the circumstances at the moment.
Unfortunately we have to wait and see.
They just look so happy together. Especially, Chewie.
Please let us know your thoughts on the matter in the comments below. Is this surprising? Is it a good move? Or is this a sign of a shaky future between Lucasfilm and the filmmakers of future Star Wars movies?