Star Wars Boss Explains Why Han Solo Movie Directors Were Fired
"It literally came down to process. Just getting it done."
Ever since Phil Lord and Chris Miller were fired in the middle of production of Solo: A Star Wars Story back in June, the reason for their dismissal has been a big topic of debate among fans. Now that production has wrapped under director Ron Howard and the first trailer for the film has been released, Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy is speaking out on the decision to change directions.
Speaking to Entertainment Weekly, she says, "I think these guys are hilarious, but they come from a background of animation and sketch comedy and when you are making these movies you can do that and there's plenty of room for improvisation, we do that all the time, but it has to be inside of a highly structured process or you can’t get the work done and you can't move the armies of people to anticipate and have things ready. So, it literally came down to process. Just getting it done."
In an initial statement, Lord and Miller said, "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." If all parties are to believed, it really does sound like it was creative differences that drove a wedge between the directors and the production company. Lord and Miller are accustomed to making movies one way, Lucasfilm prefers another.
However, when it came time to actually replace them, even Howard wasn't sure if he was the man for the job. "I know Chris and Phil. They're incredibly talented guys... But when I learned that this change was happening, it just came in a moment where I was working on lots of new projects for Imagine [the film and TV production company], and I had not planned to direct anything last year," he explains. "So then this came my way... I was reluctant, but I also began to feel that I could help."
As for how much of the movie was reshot and how much of Lord and Miller's original version will remain in the final cut, there is no clear answer. Howard doesn't think it's important. "I don't really want to be specific about that because, again, I don’t even want that to matter to fans," he says. "I could understand why you'd ask, and some might even be curious, but look, everybody who has been involved in this has done nothing but love what this movie could be, and that’s been the vibe around it."
However, he does admit that "Phil and Chris's fingerprints are all over the movie, given how much they put into it and the time they put into it." Whether that's a good thing is up to the audience. Solo: A Star Wars Story hits theaters on May 25.