In the middle of filming the yet untitled Han Solo Star Wars spinoff, Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy announced that directors Phil Lord and Christopher Miller will not be continuing with the project. Citing creative differences as the main reason for the split, the directors revealed that their “vision and process were not aligned” with that of their partners on the said project.
According to Time, the Han Solo movie, which started filming in London since February, still have several weeks left to shoot. But even with the departure of Lord and Miller, there are no changes to the release date of May 25, 2018.
However, news broke out that a new director has already been tapped to continue the Han Solo movie. According to Deadline, Ron Howard has emerged as the front-runner to replace Lord and Miller. Recently, Howard has agreed to direct a feature documentary on Luciano Pavarotti. He is also working on numerous features including an adaptation of Hillbilly Elegy.
Meanwhile, it was reported that Lord and Miller have not recovered from creative rifts with Kennedy and screenwriter Lawrence Kasdan. According to Variety, it has been months of conflict that culminated in the directors’ surprising exit. Lord and Miller were surprised that they were not going to have the freedom to run the Han Solo production in the manner that they were accustomed to. A source revealed to Variety that the chemistry was never right between the directors and the Lucasfilm president, who also serves as the film’s producer.
The source also said that Kennedy did not approve of Lord and Miller’s shooting style and process of interacting with the film’s actors and crew. Aside from Kennedy, the duo also clashed with Kasdan, who has questioned many of their directing choices. Kasdan has been an integral part of several Star Wars movies dating back to The Empire Strikes Back in 1980.
Upon issuing their respective statements, both parties alluded to differences in creative vision for the Han Solo movie.
“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,” said Lord and Miller in a statement.
“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,” Kennedy said.
It is unclear whether the directors will be credited in the movie, as the situation is highly unusual, since Lord and Miller were fired by Lucasfilm. Disney reps, as well as Lord and Miller have not commented further.
The Han Solo film will focus on the Millenium Falcon pilot’s days as a smuggler. It stars Alden Ehrenreich in the titular role, Donald Glover, Thandie Newton, Woody Harrelson, Michael K. Williams, and Emilia Clarke.
[Featured Image by Sascha Steinbach/Getty Images]