On Tuesday night Lucasfilm announced on StarWars.com that it made a directing change for its untitled Han Solo movie, parting ways with Phil Lord and Christopher Miller due to “creative differences,” though there were only a few weeks left of principal photography.
The move is an unprecedented one in the history of Hollywood, as one of the landmark franchises in the business is now scrambling to complete one of its most anticipated standalone movies.
The announcement also states that the movie, which is still untitled, remains slated for release in May of 2018.
Since that initial news broke, there have been numerous reports about what led to the split, including one which reveals that Lord and Miller (“The Lego Movie,” “21 Jump Street” and sequel) were fired from the project by Lucasfilm head Kathleen Kennedy.
Here’s a rundown of what led to that decision and who may be hired to finish the movie:
“It’s become clear that we had different creative visions…”
The untitled young Han Solo movie — starring Alden Ehrenreich as the iconic space smuggler that Harrison Ford played in the original movies, Donald Glover as Solo’s friend Lando Calrissian, Woody Harrelson, Emilia Clarke, Thandie Newton, and Michael K. Williams — has been shooting in London since February and only had several weeks left of principal photography when news hit that directors Lord and Miller would be leaving the project.
“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 in a statement that appeared on StarWars.com on Tuesday.
“Unfortunately, our vision and process weren’t aligned with our partners on this project,” Lord and Miller said in the same statement. “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.”
Both sides were saying the right things, but digging deeper it seems there was a lot of friction on set.
Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy reportedly fired Lord and Miller.
The directors did not leave the project voluntarily, but were fired by Lucasfilm head Kathleen Kennedy, according to Variety. The move followed months of conflict between Kennedy, who is also one of the producers on the movie, and the directors.
“It was a culture clash from day one.”
Sources told Variety that even though Lord and Miller felt they had made their bones in the business after helming ambitious movies like “The Lego Movie” and “21 Jump Street” and deserved some creative freedom, it turned out making a “Star Wars” movie meant being under the control of Kennedy.
The two were constantly criticized for the the style in which they shot scenes and their interaction with their stars.
“It was a culture clash from day one,” a source told Variety. “She didn’t even like the way they folded their socks.”
The way they worked even got under the skin of the movie’s screenwriter, Lawrence Kasdan, who has been part of the “Star Wars” family going back to when he penned “The Empire Strikes Back.”