After more than four months of production, Lucasfilm officially announced that directors Phil Lord and Christopher Miller left the Han Solo: A Star Wars Story project in the midst of shooting, citing creative differences. As it turns out, Lord and Miller were fired by Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy. And on Monday, Kennedy released a statement stating that a replacement will be announced soon. The news came during a short hiatus, to review what had been shot so far, and to reportedly clear the air.
An inside source close to the Han Solo movie has told The Hollywood Reporter that the directors were let go for attempting to add too much humor into the character of Han Solo. Lord and Miller (21 Jumpstreet, The Lego Movie) come from a comedic background and seemed like an odd choice from the get go. The inside source added that “people need to understand that Han Solo is not a comedic personality. He’s sarcastic and selfish.” Something the two directors apparently didn’t understand.
The inside source claims that Christopher Miller and Phil Lord were “blindsided” by their firing. The directors had relocated their families to London for the initial production of the project all the way through until now. But another anonymous source is disputing that bit of intel. It has been reported that the friction between the directors and Lucasfilm began almost immediately. But it was assumed that whatever differences there were, could be worked out over time. It has also been reported that Lord and Miller did not feel like they had total support from producer Allison Shearmur, Lucasfilm’s acting representative on set for the project. In addition, the visions of the directors reportedly clashed with Lawrence Kasdan who wrote The Empire Strikes Back as well as the script for the Han Solo movie with his son, Joe Kasdan.
Apparently, Disney and Lucasfilm have already chosen a replacement and according to the sources, Ron Howard’s name has come up a number of times, which could be an intriguing idea. Ron Howard has a history with Lucasfilm, and in 1988 he directed the fantasy adventure Willow for creator George Lucas, which many complained was a Star Wars rip-off. The other name that has popped up is Kasdan, which would make more sense, since he is so close to the project already. And he already has a rich history within the Star Wars universe. Not to mention he’s directed a number of classic movies. It’s clear that whoever steps in and takes over has quite a lot of work to do in order to keep the project moving forward.
Most of this information comes from anonymous sources, so the information should be taken as such. This is all current speculation as the news is still fresh. But it does not appear that Lucasfilm is intent on shutting down production for too much longer. Lucasfilm and Disney were in a similar situation, but a lot further down the line, when they took Gareth Edwards out from Rogue One at the last minute. They brought Tony Gilroy into rewrite and direct a large amount of reshoots to get the movie to fit in line with Lucasfilm’s vision. The decision paid off well for both Disney and Lucasfilm since the movie went on to be a hit that was praised both by critics and most fans. The current news is not expected to affect the release of the movie on May 25th, 2018. More updates coming soon.