Lord & Miller Fired from the 'Han Solo' Movie in the Middle of Filming
Whoa! Major news to report. Directors Phil Lord & Christopher Miller will no longer be directing the Han Solo spin-off Star Wars movie, currently in the middle of filming. Lucasfilm and Lord/Miller have both released statements, via Hollywood Reporter, confirming the shocking news and admitting to "creative differences" as the reason. The project was already most of the way through filming, apparently with only a few weeks left, yet they're not going to finish and will instead hand over the work to someone else (yet to be announced). This is a huge shake-up in Hollywood, and will be talked about for years. For now, the original May 25th, 2018 release date is still unchanged, with reshoots planned later this summer with a new director.
This kind of filmmaking news is usually referred to as just a "parting of ways", with each side agreeing to move on. However, THR (who broke the original news story) is reporting in a separate article that Lord & Miller were "fired". They claim: "the style and vision of Lord and Miller clashed with that of Lawrence Kasdan," who wrote the screenplay for Empire Strikes Back, and also wrote the Han Solo movie script with his son Jon Kasdan. Lord & Miller "have a comedic sensibility and improvisational style while Kasdan favors a strict adherence to the written word." Apparently this "creative difference" didn't smooth out and despite filming for months, they still couldn't finish and had to break up before it was over. That's all we know, but it makes some sense, considering Lord & Miller love to push the boundaries and try to find genuine humor.
Here's the two official statements (via THR) from Lucasfilm/Disney and Lord & Miller regarding the news:
"Phil Lord and Christopher Miller are talented filmmakers who have assembled an incredible cast and crew, but it's become clear that we had different creative visions on this film, and we've decided to part ways. A new director will be announced soon," Kathleen Kennedy, president of Lucasfilm, said Tuesday in a statement.
"Unfortunately, our vision and process weren't aligned with our partners on this project," a statement from Lord and Miller read. "We normally aren’t fans of the phrase 'creative differences' but for once this cliché is true. We are really proud of the amazing and world-class work of our cast and crew."
This is even more surprising considering they had already been filming the Han Solo movie for months, with Alden Ehrenreich playing Solo, and a cast including Donald Glover, Woody Harrelson, Emilia Clarke, and Michael Kenneth Williams. Lord & Miller were originally hired back in 2015, a year after the release of 22 Jump Street and The Lego Movie. They also are still involved with the Animated Spider-Man Movie in the works at Sony. Not many details are known about the Han Solo movie, as Lucasfilm is keeping the project a big secret. All we know is that it's about a young Han Solo, but that's about it. Lord & Miller seemed like the perfect filmmakers to do something special with this project. But the rumor is that Disney wants "to protect the Star Wars brand and to ensure that it is not tarnished by a movie that doesn't deliver what fans want."
I'm a fan. And you know what I wanted? A Lord & Miller Star Wars movie. These guys are creative geniuses, almost everything they've touched so far has turned out better than expected, and they always know how to make something fresh and different yet still thoroughly entertaining. I thought when Disney/Lucasfilm first hired them they knew what they were getting into - and would let these guys work their magic and come up with something truly brilliant. No matter who they get to take over, it'll be hard to watch the movie without thinking about how far Lord & Miller could've gone. But there is nothing we can do. I'm just curious to see who they hire to replace them. We'll definitely be following closely as more updates arrive. Your thoughts?