In an article published by Entertainment Weekly, writer Anthony Breznican reports the reason for Chris Miller and Phil Lord’s split with Lucasfilm over the Han Solo movie.
In a report published by Entertainment Weekly, writer Anthony Breznican digs into why and when directors Chris Miller and Phil Lord split with Lucasfilm over the Han Solo movie.
Up until Monday, Miller and Lord were the directors of the 2018 standalone film about Han Solo’s early life. On Tuesday, however, StarWars.com announced the pair was no longer attached to the project. The announcement came after Miller and Lord had been shooting the film for nearly five months.
Of course, everyone wanted to know what happened and why. That’s why Breznican reached out to several sources close to the Han Solo set as well as Miller and Lord for answers.
What he found were two stories. One claimed that Miller and Lord wanted to make the Han Solo movie into a comedy in the style of their previous films, 21 Jump Street and The LEGO Movie. According to Breznican, “Lucasfilm and producer [Kathleen] Kennedy believed Lord and Miller were hired to add a comedic touch; Lord and Miller believed they were hired to make a comedy.”
The main cast of the Han Solo movie with former directors Chris Miller and Phil Lord. Image Credit: Lucasfilm
Another story, however, simply elaborates on the reason both Miller & Lord and Kathleen Kennedy gave for their split: “creative differences,” not necessarily regarding comedic touches. In this version of the break-up, Miller and Lord strayed too far from the script which Lawrence Kasdan (who co-wrote the scripts for The Empire Strikes Back and The Force Awakens) and his son, Jon Kasdan, worked on for several years. Miller and Lord encouraged their stars to improvise to the point where the initial footage of the film was entirely different from the vision Kasdan and Kennedy had in mind. Miller and Lord could have fixed these problems in reshoots, but they wanted to stick to their guns and finish making the movie the way they thought was best.
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The above two stories could both hold some truth. The changes Miller and Lord made may have leaned towards a more comedic result than the film warranted, at least in Kennedy’s and Kasdan’s eyes.
In the end, however, Kasdan’s script was the story Lucasfilm wanted, and Miller and Lord weren’t following it. So on Monday, Breznican says, they were fired.
Today, StarWars.com announced that veteran, Oscar-winning director Ron Howard (Rush, A Beautiful Mind) would take over the project. In spite of the shakeup in directors, the film is still slated to release on May 24, 2018. But Lucasfilm may push that date forward depending on how many changes Howard feels he needs to make to salvage the film. We may know something more regarding the state of the film when it resumes shooting on July 10.
So, providing Breznican’s sources are all correct, it’s true what Miller, Lord and Kennedy said: there were simply too many “creative differences” for the two directors to continue on the project.