Only mere hours after the revelation that Ron Howard would receive sole directing credit for Solo: A Star Wars Story, The Vulture dropped a devastating article that details just how troubled the production was under previous directors, Lord and Miller. Under the condition of anonymity, a source who worked as an actor on-set under Lord and Miller as well as with Ron Howard, depicted just what went wrong with Solo: A Star Wars Story.
According to Vulture writer, Chris Lee, their source described the production under Lord and Miller as “disorganized”, “chaotic” and that the pair appeared “out of their depth”. The source went on to describe how the first assistant director for the film had to intervene and help the duo direct many of the scenes. Moreover, the source went on to claim that many previously shot scenes were completely redone under Howard’s direction. The source claimed, “It’s exactly the same script. They’re filming exactly the same things. There’s nothing new.” Shockingly, Vulture’s source claimed that Lord and Miller required more than 30 takes for any given scene and failed to provide specific direction other than that the actors perform the take differently than the last. That many takes can become inordinately taxing on the film’s production schedule as well as its budget. Howard, on the other hand, required no more than two or three takes for any given scene. Evidently, the key difference can be whittled down to “efficiency”. Previously for instance, Lord and Miller had the luxury of relying on whole sets for the production. However – presumably in an effort to cut costs on an already costly and beleaguered film – Howard relied upon partial sets during his reshoots. Directing issues aside, Lucasfilm also seemed to have difficulty with Ehrenreich’s portrayal.
On Monday, July 17th, 2016 during London’s Star Wars Celebration, Lucasfilm announced Alden Ehrenreich’s casting as a young Han Solo.
While Ehrenreich’s casting wasn’t exactly met with aplomb, all seemed to be going smoothly as production began. However, rumors began emerging that Disney had hired an acting coach to help assist Ehrenreich in his portrayal of Han Solo. According to Vulture’s source, this was true. Vulture’s source said, “Trying to mimic Harrison Ford is really tough. Lucasfilm wanted something very specific; copying someone else… Alden’s not a bad actor – just not good enough… You could see his acting became more relaxed. He became more Harrison-like. The coach helped.” Given the significance of the property, Disney’s intervention is completely understandable especially now given The Last Jedi’s performance.
According to The Wall Street Journal, Star Wars: The Last Jedi lost “sales momentum” and fell $200 million short below analysts’ expectations. According to Vulture’s source, Disney is fully aware of The Last Jedi’s perceived shortcomings and all eyes are now keenly focused on making Solo succeed. The source said: “They have to make [Solo] good after The Last Jedi didn’t make as much money as expected. If they want to keep making Star Wars movies, it has to be good.”
Later in the afternoon after publication of The Vulture article, Howard updated fans as to the progress of the film. Howard tweeted: “Last bit of scoring and final sound mix all happening this week. Exciting. VFX finals looking great as is 3D conversion. Can’t wait to share.”
The first official teaser trailer was published on February 5th, 2018 and fans have eagerly been awaiting the next theatrical trailer.
So, how did this start?
Citing creative differnces, Lucasfilm fired Lord and Miller and announced their exit on June 20th, 2017. At the time, a source depicted the conflict as “…a culture clash from day one. She didn’t even like the way they folded their socks. They weren’t given the leeway to do what they had to do. Kathy, her team and Larry Kasdan have been doing it their way for a very long time. They know how the cheese is made and that’s how they want it made. It became a very polarizing set.” It’s been reported that approximately three-quarters of principal photography had been completed at the time.
At the third annual GLAS Animation Festival, Miller revealed that the pair would receive an executive producer credit on the film. Miller said, “We were really proud of the many contributions we made to that film. In light of the creative differences, we elected to take an executive producer credit.”
Prior to the firing of Lord and Miller, editor Chris Dickens was replaced by Pietro Scalia.
I think it’s abundantly clear that Kathleen Kennedy and her fellow Disney executives made the right decision to step in and replace Phil Lord and Chris Miller. While I’m a massive fan of their work to the point that I still regularly watch episodes of Clone High, the production sounded as if the situation was completely untenable. With Ron Howard, you have an experienced Oscar winning director that’s delved into multiple genres and is reliable. Howard could seemingly spearhead any type of production because of his expertise. So, I’m sure that the film must be at the very least good and hopefully turns out great.
The upcoming anthology spin-off is set to open on May 25th, 2018. Solo: A Star Wars Story stars Alden Ehrenreich, Woody Harrelson, Emilia Clarke and Donald Glover.