It’s fair to say that Lucasfilm’s Solo: A Star Wars Story has had a difficult production, with the studio firing original directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller with just weeks of filming to go due to creative differences, and Ron Howard then coming on board to oversee extensive reshoots and complete the Anthology movie.
Speaking to Entertainment Weekly, Howard has spoken about the situation, revealing that he was reluctant to take on directing duties, and confirming that much of Lord and Miller’s sensibilities remain present in the movie.
“I know Chris and Phil,” said Howard. “They’re incredibly talented guys, and all anyone at Imagine Entertainment wants to do is find a way to work with Chris and Phil, and that’s every bit as much the case today as ever. But when I learned that this change was happening, it just came in a moment where I was working on lots of new projects for Imagine, and I had not planned to direct anything last year. So then this came my way, and I was talking to Kathy, and the now tragically late Alli Shearmur, an old friend. I was reluctant, but I also began to feel that I could help.”
“It’s disappointing that any company ever feels like they have to make a change like that,” he continued. “It’s rough on everybody and disappointing for everybody, and I’ve just tried to come in and – of course, Phil and Chris’s fingerprints are all over the movie, given how much they put into it and the time they put into it. I hope fans won’t even think about how the movie was made. They should just lose themselves in it.”
Meanwhile, Lucasfilm chief Kathleen Kennedy also discussed Lord and Miller’s dismissal, stating that she felt their style and process was not suited to a Star Wars production:
“I think these guys are hilarious, but they come from a background of animation and sketch comedy and when you are making these movies you can do that and there’s plenty of room for improvisation, we do that all the time, but it has to be inside of a highly structured process or you can’t get the work done and you can’t move the armies of people to anticipate and have things ready,” said Kennedy. “So, it literally came down to process. Just getting it done… These are really great guys and you know, nobody wanted this to happen. It was just one of those unfortunate things.”
Board the Millennium Falcon and journey to a galaxy far, far away in Solo: A Star Wars Story, an all-new adventure with the most beloved scoundrel in the galaxy. Through a series of daring escapades deep within a dark and dangerous criminal underworld, Han Solo meets his mighty future copilot Chewbacca and encounters the notorious gambler Lando Calrissian, in a journey that will set the course of one of the Star Wars saga’s most unlikely heroes.
Solo: A Star Wars Story features Alden Ehrenreich (Hail, Caesar!) as the famous smuggler, Donald Glover (Atlanta) as Lando Calrissian, Woody Harrelson (War for the Planet of the Apes) as Tobias Beckett, Joonas Suotamo as Chewbacca, Phoebe Waller-Bridge (Fleabag) as L3-37, Emilia Clarke (Game of Thrones) as Qi’ra, Thandie Newton (Westworld) as Val, Ian Kenny (Sing Street) as Rebolt, Harley Durst (Wonder Woman) as Moloch, Tien Hoang (Now You See Me 2) as Moloch’s henchman and Paul Bettany (Avengers: Infinity War) and Warwick Davis (Star Wars: Episode VI – Return of the Jedi) in as-yet-unrevealed roles. It is set for release on May 25th 2018.