Former Han Solo Movie Directors On Being Fired From Star Wars Spin-Off
"That was a really big gap to bridge."
The upcoming Star Wars spin-off Solo: A Star Wars Story was set to be directed by Phil Lord and Chris Miller, but the pair were replaced by Ron Howard in June, a few weeks before the completion of principal photography. Lord has now commented on their departure for the first time.
The director, who is best known for The Lego Movie and the Jump Street films, was asked about the situation in an interview with Vulture. Lord gives a unsurprisingly diplomatic answer that nevertheless recognises that there were serious differences in the approach to the movie that led to him and Miller being fired. "We had the most incredible cast and crew and collaborators," he said. "I think in terms of us leaving the project, I think everybody went in with really good intentions and our approach to making the movie was different than theirs. That was a really big gap to bridge, and it proved to be too big.
"Sometimes people break up, and it's really sad, and it's really disappointing. But it happens and we learned a lot from our collaborators and we're better filmmakers for it. We're really proud of the work we did on the movie and we wish everybody the best."
Although the official statement issued by Lucasfilm at the time of Lord and Miller's exit suggested that it was an amicable departure based on "creative differences," subsequent reports stated that they were in fact fired due to clashes with Lucasfilm boss Kathleen Kennedy and co-writer and Star Wars veteran Lawrence Kasdan.
Last month it was rumored that Howard had reshot a lot of the film--possibly up to 80% of it. Co-star Thandie Newton subsequently denied that this was the case, but even if the reshoots were less extensive than initially thought, there is no doubt that the length of Howard's production was far longer than the few weeks of reshoots that were initially suggested. Production recommenced in June and didn't finish until mid-October. In addition, the scale of the reshoots meant that at least one role had to be recast, with Paul Bettany replacing Michael K. Williams.
Solo: A Star Wars Story stars Alden Ehrenreich as Han Solo and Joonas Suotamo as Chewbacca, with Donald Glover as Lando Calrissian. Woody Harrelson, Phoebe Waller-Bridge, and Emilia Clarke also star. It hits theaters on May 25, 2018.