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Just how troubled was production on the standalone Han Solo movie?

June 27th, 2017 by Marc Comments

Oh man…

We’re pretty sure everyone on the planet knows by now that Lucasfilm/Disney have fired The LEGO Movie and 21 Jump Street directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller from their standalone Han Solo movie and replaced them with Willow and Apollo 13 director Ron Howard, however, it seems there is more to the story (isn’t there always?).

With details emerging after the firing of Lord and Miller that Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy was at loggerheads with the duo almost from the beginning, and apparently the studio and the directors had different ideas for the movie, we sort of figured that there was trouble in paradise, right from the start.

New reports are that from day one Kennedy and Empire Strikes Back screenwriter Lawrence Kasdan weren’t happy with what they were seeing from Lord and Miller and were concerned from the get go:

However, the angst wasn’t all on the studio’s part with “deep fundamental philosophical differences” appearing between studio and directors, with Lord and Miller given “zero creative freedom” and operating under “extreme scheduling constraints” with  “never given enough days for each scene from the very beginning.”

It certainly doesn’t sound ideal, does it?

It seems that, rather than get rid of the duo, Kennedy tried to get them to step back and allow Kasdan to finish the movie, however, unlike Rogue One director Garth Edwards, who allowed Tony Gilroy to step up during the filming of that movie, Lord and Miller reportedly wouldn’t play ball at all.

Apparently Kennedy’s idea is to get filmmakers with individual styles to step up to the Star Wars plate, however this and the shenanigans on the set of Rogue One would indicate this isn’t the case with Lord and Miller apparently struggling to deal with the size of the movie and relying on their usual improvisational style of directing not working in their favour… this is, after all, Star Wars and not Jump Street: “Lawrence Kasdan would not allow this and demanded that every line was said word for word. To appease him and the studio, Lord and Miller would do several takes exactly as written and then shoot additional takes.”

This apparently displeased Kasdan greatly, as he and his son wrote the script but also let the directors have input.

However, the problems seemed to go deeper than just with the directors:


Matters were coming to a head in May as the production moved from London to the Canary Islands. Lucasfilm replaced editor Chris Dickens (Macbeth) with Oscar-winner Pietro Scalia, a veteran of Ridley Scott films including Alien: Covenant and The Martian. And, not entirely satisfied with the performance that the directors were eliciting from Rules Don’t Apply star Alden Ehrenreich, Lucasfilm decided to bring in an acting coach. (Hiring a coach is not unusual; hiring one that late in production is.) Lord and Miller suggested writer-director Maggie Kiley, who worked with them on 21 Jump Street.

Despite Ron Howard picking up the reigns (today, as it happens), word is that Lord and Miller are graciously helping him get settled in and that much of what they filmed is still usable.


Worringly, this isn’t the first time something like this has happened; as we mentioned above, Edwards’ Rogue One was envisioned as a very dark war movie, however he was pushed to the background and Gilroy made a movie that must have appealed to Disney’s sensibilities more.

But let’s not forget that Fantastic Four direct Josh Trank was also fired from the second standalone before he even shouted ‘action’ for the first time.

We also know that JJ Abrams had to get more time to finish Episode VII, pushing back the release date; however, word on the street is that Rian Johnson had no issues filming Episode VIII. But we must admit there’s a problem here that needs addressed and soon.

Oh and, just for the record, we had heard reports that cast and crew celebrated when Lord and Miller were dismissed, however, the new word on the nerdvine is that the cheers were not for the departure of the directors but rather relief that a replacement was found and the movie would be finished as planned. Which makes sense to us.

So, what do you all say? Is this a problem even more threatening to Solo than Jabba the Hutt? Let us know…


Source: THR

Marc is a self-confessed nerd. Ever since seeing Star Wars for the first time around 1979 he’s been an unapologetic fan of the Wars and still believes, with Clone Wars and now Underworld, we are yet to see the best Star Wars. He’s a dad of two who now doesn’t have the time (or money) to collect the amount of toys, comics, movies and books he once did, much to the relief of his long-suffering wife. In the real world he’s a graphic designer. He started Following the Nerd because he was tired of searching a million sites every day for all the best news that he loves and decided to create one place where you can go to get the whole lot. Secretly he longs to be sitting in the cockpit of his YT-1300 Corellian Transport ship with his co-pilot Chewie, roaming the universe, waiting for his next big adventure, but feels just at home watching cartoons with his kids….