Yesterday, cam the shocking report that Phil Lord and Chris Miller were departing as directors of the untitled Han Solo Star Wars spinoff. With only three weeks of production left on the schedule, the timing of their departure came into question. Although Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy said that it was due to creative differences, it seemed very odd that they would leave at such a critical juncture of the film.
Now there are new details. According to various reports, Lord and Miller were actually fired due to creative differences which stemmed from a conflict between Lawrence Kasdan, the film’s screenwriter. According to these reports, Lord and Miller’s comedic and improvisational style came into conflict with Kasdan’s by-the-script method – meaning what is on the page is what must be shot. More on the story below.
THR says the directors believed that they would work out their differences. With only three weeks of production left, that would make sense. While the “directors’ improvisational and highly collaborative creative process increasingly clashed with Lucasfilm and Disney’s more structured working preferences,” Buzzfeed says the directors did not want to leave the project.
Despite their efforts to stay on board the film until the very end, they had very little support from Lucasfilm, especially Kennedy and on set producer Allison Shearmur. In fact, Kennedy sided with Kasdan, who has been a part of the Lucasfilm team having written Empire Strikes Back, Raiders of the Lost Ark, The Return of the Jedi, and The Force Awakens. Basically, Kasdan helped shape Star Wars into what it is today.
A close source told THR that it also came down to understanding Han Solo. “People need to understand that Han Solo is not a comedic personality. He’s sarcastic and selfish,” said that source. Which, again, is very odd considering that they were nearly done with principal photography. Apparently, the conflict started as soon as production started in late January and early February.
So production is on hiatus, and the team will screen the footage to evaluate what they have and clear the air. In the meantime Disney and Lucasfilm will be looking for a new director to take Lord and Miller’s place. While it’s being reported that they may have already found one, they have yet to announce who it is. There’s some speculation that Ron Howard will be brought in to complete the film. In the same report, THR says Kasdan himself may be the one to sit on the chair for the remainder of the production.
But hiring Kasdan has its own set of problems as it could be complicated by DGA rules that prevent someone already working on a film from taking over for a director that is being replaced except for a short-term emergency. Sources say that when they find a new director, he or she will go over what Lord and Miller have shot, re-edit what they have filmed, and go from there.
This wouldn’t be the first time that a Star Wars spinoff has hit a creative speed bump. Josh Trank was let go of the unconfirmed Boba Fett spinoff in 2015. Last year, Tony Gilroy was brought in to do some rewrites on Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, and soon found himself having a larger creative part on the film than originally planned.
As for Lord and Miller, it is possible that they could return to WB to direct The Flash. Many had hoped the two would direct the film considering they wrote the original draft. But they would move on to the Han Solo spinoff, and eventually, WB had to start anew because Seth Grahame-Smith and Rick Fukuyama left the film because of creative differences. Now that Lord and Miller are free from Han Solo, there may be a chance for them to direct the Scarlett Speedster. That is, if WB is willing to revert back to Lord and Miller’s script. We’ll just have to wait and see what happens.
[Source: Buzzfeed | THR]