Ron Howard Grabs Control of HAN SOLO Project As Questions Swirl
It’s been a dark time for the Star Wars galaxy in the last 36 hours or so, since it was announced that directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller (The Lego Movie) were fired from their role at the head of the upcoming Han Solo project and that long-time epic movie director Ron Howard had taken the reigns.
Rumors and conflicting reports have since been appearing on the web trying to explain exactly why the duo was let go. Sounding like a song from the musical Chicago, Lucasfilm cited simply “creative differences.” The company thinks they brought the pair in to lighten up the touches on the Han Solo film, while the pair, those little rebels, thought they were brought in to make a comedy.
Lord and Miller are well known and well-respected for their history of self-deprecating comedies (think 21 Jump Street and of course the block-heavy cartoon). But Kathleen Kennedy, the film’s producer, is nothing short of a Hollywood behemoth, with credits as varied and as successful as Jurassic Park and Back to the Future to her name. It was apparently, as some sources are reporting, when she began seeing the dailies of critical scenes that she began to part ways with the pair, who are also known for liking audience improvisation. Screenwriter Lawrence Kasdan (another stalwart, who wrote, most recently, The Force Awakens), apparently shared Kennedy’s vision and not the wily pair’s.
Still, the rift must have been Death Star-sized for the savvy Kennedy to be willing to part ways, given the obvious publicity hit that the project would take. On the other hand, reshoots are part of the process with big blockbusters these days, and it is understandable that any project in the Star Wars universe has to be closely monitored. After so much ill-will towards the franchise sprouted from the three ill-fated prequels, Lucasfilm more than regained its footing with Force Awakens and also with Rogue One last year. It is surely not about to give that up easily. Even if Lord and Miller’s vision may have made a fine movie, it may not have made a find Star Wars movie.
The question now of course is what will Howard do? He has only a few days to get up to speed and to start reshooting the problematic sequences. There is plenty of time as the movie is not scheduled until a May 2018 release, and Howard is experienced and talented. On the other hand, this could be like when the Oscars brought in Billy Crystal to replace the departing Eddie Murphy. Perhaps the best they can hope for is a soft landing?
The Han Solo origin story, still untitled, will star Alden Ehrenreich as the purportedly titular character and Donald Glover as Lando Calrissian. We will keep you posted on the details of the reshoots, the new director, and anything else we learn about the firing as the story develops.