Fired Star Wars Han Solo spin-off directors were making the movie 'a comedy'

Ben Arnold
·Contributor
Fired… Phil Lord and Christopher Miller were taking Han Solo spin-off in a more comedic direction – Credit: Lucasfilm
Fired… Phil Lord and Christopher Miller were taking Han Solo spin-off in a more comedic direction – Credit: Lucasfilm

Following the sensational news of Phil Lord and Christopher Miller being fired from directing the young Han Solo spin-off movie for the ‘Star Wars’ series, more detail is emerging about why.

As previously reported, the pair had been clashing with Lucasfilm boss Kathleen Kennedy throughout the film’s shoot in London.

But sources close to the directors – who were hired after hits like the ’21 Jump Street’ movies and ‘The Lego Movie’ – say that the comedic tone of their vision for the movie was becoming an issue.

“They thought they were brought on to make a Phil and Chris movie,” one source told Entertainment Weekly. “Sometimes they just thought the actors could do it differently.”

(Credit: AP)
(Credit: AP)

The improvisation that Lord and Miller were encouraging actors to do was then spotted on the dailies that were sent back to Lucasfilm, and the deviation from ‘Empire Strikes Back’ writer Lawrence Kasdan’s script was not appreciated, as they ‘began steering the Han Solo movie more into the genre of laughs than space fantasy’.

“As principal photography for the movie approached its end, it became clear that the filmmakers and producers did not share the same vision for some critical scenes,” reports EW.

“Reshoots were always possible (they are factored into almost every major film these days, and each new Star Wars project has undergone them), but as Lord and Miller dug in, refusing to compromise on what they saw as best for the film, the partnership went from strained to fractured.”

Reports from Variety back this up.

“It was a culture clash from day one. She didn’t even like the way they folded their socks,” said a source.

“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.”

Perhaps it should not have come as a shock that the pair would try to push the movie in that direction – they’re best known for making comedy, not only with movies like ’21 and 22 Jump Street’, but also on TV shows like ‘Brooklyn Nine-Nine’ and ‘Last Man On Earth’.

(Credit: AP)
(Credit: AP)

The directors were fired on Monday, and now veteran helmsman Ron Howard has been confirmed to pick up the slack, with reshoots to commence on July 10.

“At Lucasfilm, we believe the highest goal of each film is to delight, carrying forward the spirit of the saga that George Lucas began forty years ago,” Kennedy said in a statement.

“With that in mind, we’re thrilled to announce that Ron Howard will step in to direct the untitled Han Solo film. We have a wonderful script, an incredible cast and crew, and the absolute commitment to make a great movie. Filming will resume the 10th of July.”

Despite the disruption, the movie, which stars Alden Ehrenreich as the young smuggler alongside Woody Harrelson, Emilia Clarke and Donald Glover, is still planning to hit its release date of May, 2018.

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