Lucasfilm Splits From Directors Lord & Miller with Just 3 Weeks Left on Their Han Solo Anthology Film

Disney and Lucasfilm need to find a new director for their unfinished and untitled Han Solo anthology film. They’ve parted ways with Phil Lord and Chris Miller.

Alden Ehrenreich, Woody Harrelson, Emilia Clarke, Donald Glover, Thandie Newton, Michael K. Williams, Phoebe Waller-Bridge, and Joonas Suotamo have been in production on the film with the directors since February. The Hollywood Reporter dropped the seriously stunning news late yesterday, Disney and Lucasfilm had decided to part ways with the Han Solo anthology film directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller with just three weeks left on their shoot. Some quotes from THR:

“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,” Kathleen Kennedy, president of Lucasfilm, said Tuesday in a statement.

“Unfortunately, our vision and process weren’t aligned with our partners on this project,” a statement from Lord and Miller read. “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.”

The film was written by Lawrence Kasdan and his son Jon Kasdan and is said to still be scheduled for release on May 25, 2018. So…what the heck happened?

A later report at THR says sources told them “the style and vision of Lord and Miller clashed with that of Lawrence Kasdan…Lord and Miller (21 Jump Street, The Lego Movie) have a comedic sensibility and improvisational style while Kasdan favors a strict adherence to the written word — what is on the page is what must be shot.” One person mentioned a difference of opinion on the main character himself saying, “People need to understand that Han Solo is not a comedic personality. He’s sarcastic and selfish.” A source also said the directing duo were “blindsided” by the decision.

At Variety it gets weirder with this quote from a source, “It was a culture clash from day one. [Kennedy] didn’t even like the way they folded their socks.” I wouldn’t put too much stock in that one. Variety also reports:

The source said that while Lord and Miller were supposedly hired for their vision and distinctive brand of filmmaking when it came to the “Star Wars” production, Kennedy did not approve of their shooting style and process of interacting with actors and crew. “They weren’t given the leeway to do what they had to do,” the source said.

Regardless, it’s a bizarre situation all around. Of course Kennedy, Kasdan, and Lucasfilm have a particular vision but you’d think they would have sorted this all out with the duo ages ago. Variety and THR name Ron Howard as a possible pinch hitter while THR also adds The Rocketeer and Jumanji director Joe Johnston and Kasdan himself. Production is on pause for a few weeks until things get sorted.

Lucasfilm and Disney did not comment except for those statements by Kennedy and the directors.

[Update] I wrote about this situation and the overall busy Star Wars schedule over at The Hollywood Reporter.

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  • I’ll do it. I direct part replacement videos at work. Sometimes they’re as much as three or four minutes long. I got this.

  • Pingback: Ron Howard Does Lucasfilm a Solid Picks Up Directing Duties Han Solo Film The Nerdy Bird()

  • Howard_Bannister

    Alden Ehrenreich, Woody Harrelson, Emilia Clarke, Donald Glover, Woody Harrelson, Thandie Newton, Michael K. Williams, Phoebe Waller-Bridge, and Joonas Suotamo have been in production on the film with the directors since February.

    And Woody Harrelson, I hear. ;)

    I was super-skeptical of this project before they had picked up Lord and Miller; now I’m swinging back into skeptical mode again.