The Han Solo movie may be in more trouble than we thought.
According to the Hollywood Reporter, the trouble on the Han Solo anthology movie extended beyond merely the directors. The report reveals that as production on the film continued, producer Kathleen Kennedy became uncomfortable with reports from the set and sent out screenwriter Lawrence Kasdan to help course correct the production. Directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller rely heavily on improvisation with some deviance from the script and weren’t too keen on multiple shots.
This did not sit well with Kennedy and Kasdan.
Kennedy stepping in apparently didn’t go over too well with Lord and Miller as they didn’t appreciate Kasdan serving as a defacto director, which is when things came to a head and Kennedy opted to replace them outright.
This situation is eerily similar to what happened with Rogue One, when screenwriter Tony Gilroy was brought on for reshoots as director Gareth Edwards’ role was diminished toward the end. But Edwards, unlike Lord and Miller, went along with the changes. The move paid off as Rogue One managed to save face by being a blockbuster hit—but that was only after heavy studio interference.
The report also reveals that not only was the studio unhappy with the job of the directors, they weren’t too happy with Alden Ehrenreich’s performance as Han Solo. They went so far as to hire an acting coach to be on set. Hiring an acting coach to be on set isn’t out of the norm for movies, but what is uncommon is hiring one so late into the production of a movie.
Eventually, Kennedy hit the reset button last week parting ways with Lord and Miller. Ron Howard will now helm the director’s chair as the Han Solo production finishes principal photography and embarks on possible reshoots. Howard does intend to use some of the footage from Lord and Miller’s time.
What makes these reports that much more troubling is that it’s happened twice. There seems to be some sort of a disconnect between the studio and the directors it hires. Even if Han Solo proves to be a huge hit (which it likely will), some serious self-reflection on the part of Kathleen Kennedy and Disney needs to be done. It’s becoming a trend to chase off the same directors they hire.
The Han Solo anthology movie is scheduled to hit theaters on May 25, 2018. There’s been no word yet on if the release date will be pushed back.