The news coming out from the set doesn’t paint a great picture of the project.
It’s a hard sell in the first place: a Han Solo movie without a 34 year old Harrison Ford in the title roll. Alden Ehrenreich was announced to minimal fanfare and some doubt, but his previous work was good. As more cast members were announced it started to feel more like a sure bet. Phil Lord and Chris Miller were announced as directors, giving fans some hope that we’d be getting a Star Wars buddy movie. Lawrence Kasdan was in as exec producer and the script. It was shaping up ok.
Until this last weekend. No one seems to be very satisfied with how the production is going – including Kasdan.
Phil Lord and Chris Miller were fired three weeks before principal shooting ends due to “creative differences” according to Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy. Folks close to the pair of directors have said that they felt stifled by Disney’s shooting schedule and blocked in by the studio’s story requirements. The pair have been replaced by Ron Howard. On top of that it’s being reported that LucasFilm hired an acting coach for Ehrenreich late in production (not uncommon for a coach to be on board, but not hiring one this late in the game).
It’s not looking good – and it’s really public compared to the last anthology movie they had problems with…
It’s not a secret that Disney re-tooled a lot of Rogue One after Gareth Edwards delivered a final cut to them. Edwards worked with screenwriter Tony Gilroy during re-shoots and editing to deliver what was released to theaters. I’d expect that Edwards took to that approach better than Lord and Miller did – thus the firing.
Since Disney took over as parent company they have stated they wanted to put directors on the anthology movies that would give their own take on the universe. They really haven’t – and likely will never – allow for that. The company needs to make a choice here: either hire directors that will do what you ask of them, or let the directors you hire do what you say you want them to. You can’t have both.
All of that said – it does seem like the re-tooling of Rogue One worked (I still want to see the scenes that were in the trailer that were cut from the final), so maybe it’ll work for Han Solo.
What’s your take on all of this?