New Details Behind HAN SOLO Shakeup
The ousting of the 21 Jump Street and The LEGO Movie directors came as a shock, especially with just a few weeks of filming remaining. A new report from THR details some of the problems behind the decision of Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy (with the support of Disney studio chief Alan Horn) to fire the filmmakers, who reportedly failed to work fast enough or provide enough coverage for more options in editing. There was an attempt by Kennedy to allow Lawrence Kasdan, co-writer and producer on Han Solo, to take over directorial duties as he was similarly disappointed with presented dailies.
The move, similar to Tony Gilroy’s (The Bourne Legacy) assistance on Rogue One (with the cooperation of director Gareth Edwards), displeased the “less accommodating” Lord and Miller who, according to sources, felt they were being given “zero creative freedom.” The source adds that the directing duo felt they were being asked to operate under “extreme scheduling constraints” and “were never given enough days for each scene from the very beginning.” Lord and Miller’s style, which includes additional takes for improvisation, clashed with Kasdan, who instead insists upon adherence to what’s already on the printed page.
“They collaborate closely with their actors and give them creative freedom that, in their experience, brings out the actors’ best performances,” a source says of Lord and Miller. “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.” Another source says the pair didn’t make decisions fast enough and weren’t decisive, leading to complaints from production heads.
The report further reveals Lucasfilm, “not entirely satisfied with the performance” Lord and Miller were eliciting from star Alden Ehrenreich as the younger version of the iconic space rogue, brought in an acting coach for their leading man. This isn’t unusual, notes the report, except for when an acting coach is brought in so late in production — as was the case here.
Kennedy’s request for Kasdan to join the production in London seems to be the proverbial straw that broke the camel’s back, with Lord and Miller “not prepared to have Kasdan become a shadow director.” The duo were removed, leading to the announcement of Howard as the new director just days later. Howard, said to be concerned about Lord and Miller’s reactions, has been in touch with the filmmakers, who are said to have been “very supportive, very elegant.”
“I’m beyond grateful to add my voice to the Star Wars Universe after being a fan since 5/25/77,” Howard shared on Twitter. “I hope to honor the great work already done & help deliver on the promise of a Han Solo film.”
Filming under Howard is said to continue into the first week of September, prolonging the filming process that was initially supposed to be completed in July. Much of Lord and Miller’s footage will be “very usable,” according to an insider. As revealed by THR, Disney and Kennedy “were hoping for a meeting of the minds [with Lord and Miller] that never came.”
The still untitled Han Solo movie opens May 25th, 2018.