Well, this certainly can’t be good for the series. With the movie in the midst of production, filmmakers Phil Lord and Chris Miller have dropped out of Lucasfilm‘s untitled Han Solo spin-off film according to official “Star Wars” website. It could be a forceful split considering they’re right in the middle of the process, but everyone’s sounding incredibly diplomatic.
“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,” said Kathleen Kennedy, president of Lucasfilm in a 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,” stated Phil Lord and Christopher Miller.
Update: Variety has more and says there were major clashes from the start between Lord, Miller and Kathleen Kennedy and writer/producer Lawrence Kasdan. “It was a culture clash from day one,” a source told the trade. “She didn’t even like the way they folded their socks.”
The film has been shooting in London since February and apparently there are several weeks left on the shoot. It is unknown who will finish production and evidently, re-shoots are scheduled for later in the summer.
This is nearly unprecedented: a huge summer blockbuster, a “Star Wars” movie no less, that has lost its filmmakers during its shoot. This isn’t the first time a new “Star Wars” film found trouble. Last year, Tony Gilroy was brought in to write and direct several weeks of Gareth Edwards‘ “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.” While the movie turned out great and fans shrugged off the idea of the reshoots, another director coming on board to steer and take over a movie (Gilroy ended up being the post-production director/supervisor on the film too), is a huge deal that might not have been appreciated at the time.
From all accounts including the actors’, ‘Rogue One’ in many ways had to rethink itself midway through. The official story was Gilroy had to help bring the movie in on time as they rewrote in the moment and re-envisioned characters and scenes. And while that may be true, again, another filmmaker coming on board (two actually, let’s not forget Simon Crane‘s involvement), means ‘Rogue One’ was in need of serious help. Before that, Josh Trank was essentially quit/fired before his solo “Boba Fett” film could even start thanks to the news of his reportedly unhinged behavior on the set of the disastrous production of “Fantastic Four.”
No reason has been given for Lord/Miller split, but look for that story to come out soon enough along with possible replacement directors to finish the job. It can’t be stressed enough — this is major. Lord and Miller and Lucasfilm couldn’t even wait for post-production to end and find a path to resolve their differences together. Lucasfilm clearly did not like the direction the film was taking and had to take over lest they be stuck in the editing room with a product they didn’t believe in.
The untitled “Star Wars” spin-off movie stars Alden Ehrenreich as Han Solo, while Emilia Clarke, Woody Harrelson and Donald Glover also appear. Lord and Miller are known for “The LEGO Movie,” and ’21 & 22 Jump Street.’ As of right now the May 25, 2018 release date still stands, but who knows if that will hold now.