In a shocking twist on what appeared to be an otherwise smooth production, Lucasfilm has announced that Phil Lord and Chris Miller will no longer be directing Han Solo. The dynamic directing duo made waves recently in Hollywood with their takes on buddy-cop comedies 21 & 22 Jump Street as well as opening up the LEGO Cinematic Universe. After this success, it came as no shock to see the biggest studios in the world offer up some of their most coveted jobs. It was then that they joined the Star Wars universe and appeared to be doing a great job.
With a talented cast surrounding them and backing from Lucasfilm, the duo looked to be making good on delivering a young Han Solo movie that not everybody was interested in. Well, apparently whatever they were doing was not working.
Lucasfilm announced that both Phil Lord and Chris Miller have exited the project, citing the dreaded creative differences as their reason. The news is rather surprising as the film is currently deep in production, but in a statement from Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy, she says the replacement will be named soon:
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.
The now former directors of Han Solo also issued the following statement:
Unfortunately, our vision and process weren’t aligned with our partners on this project. 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.
Losing a director is never a good sign, but it is especially troubling at this stage. Lord and Miller have been actively filming since February and reportedly the movie had only three weeks left before wrapping principal photography according to THR. There is no word on if the exit of Lord and Miller will delay production at all, but that does not appear to be the case initially. If no break is taken, production will either continue with somebody else stepping up or from the new director. But, what vision will be completed?
Since Lucasfilm and the directors cited creative differences as the reason behind their split, they must be drastically different to leave in the midst of production. In this scenario, it is odd that these possible highly contradictory visions were not caught ahead of time. Reshoots are planned to take place later this summer according to the same report from THR, so this could be a quick turnaround and mark another Star Wars film that undergoes significant reshoots.
From the outset of their time on Han Solo, Lord and Miller repeatedly stated their desire to make a film that had elements of westerns, comedies, and buddy cop heists. If this is the vision that they had produced to this point, Lucasfilm should’ve known it to be their goal from the start. Unless their vision and tone drastically changed once they arrived to set, the split at this time is very strange – especially considering they kept Gareth Edwards on Rogue One despite them having to do major reshoots. With the news so fresh, this is only the beginning of the true story, but for now Han Solo may be in some trouble.
KEY RELEASE DATES
Star Wars 8/Star Wars: The Last Jedi release date: Dec 15, 2017
Untitled Han Solo Star Wars Anthology Film release date: May 25, 2018
Star Wars 9 / Star Wars: Episode IX release date: May 24, 2019