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New details emerge behind Solo: A Star Wars Story’s troubled production

by Danny Zepeda | March 27, 2018March 27, 2018 1:00 pm PST

Star Wars movies have been going through a rough patch lately concerning directors. Rogue One essentially fired its director during reshoots, Solo: A Star Wars Story fired its directors and Star Wars Episode IX fired its director before production started and most recently.

Most of those events have been mired in secrecy, but now we’re getting some clarity one of them: Phil Lord and Chris Miller’s departure from Solo. The directing duo responsible for 21 Jump Street and The Lego Movie were tasked with directing the second Star Wars anthology movie. Unfortunately, the marriage between the three did not take and big trouble ensued. In the end, Kathleen Kennedy had to step in and fire the directors with only weeks left in the shoot, but a lot happened in that time.

Vulture managed to speak with an anonymous actor who worked on the movie, revealing many details of the tumultuous production and eventual split between the directors and the project.

Among the topics broached by the actor was the inexperience of Lord and Miller. The directing duo reportedly felt the pressure right away and insisted on doing upwards of 20 takes for a particular scene, resulting in a bewildered cast. 

Phil and Chris are good directors, but they weren’t prepared for Star Wars. After the 25th take, the actors are looking at each other like, This is getting weird.’ [Lord and Miller] seemed a bit out of control. They definitely felt the pressure; with one of these movies, there are so many people on top of you all the time. The first assistant director was really experienced and had to step in to help them direct a lot of scenes

Things quickly changed when Ron Howard was brought on. He immediately took control, getting the proper scene out of the actors in two to three takes. Coincidentally, when Howard was brought onboard, all of his reshoots dealt with the same script Lord and Miller used. This is a stark difference between the heavy plot tinkering Rogue One went through during reshoots.

Another lingering issue that plagued the production of the movie that the actor expanded upon was Alden Ehrenreich’s performance as young Han Solo. According to the anonymous source, the actor struggled to “convincingly channel Ford’s swashbuckling affect.” He went as far as to say Ehrenreich is a good actor, “just not good enough.”

With things as they stood, the studio decided to bring on a acting coach to bring forth the Ehrenreich performance it was looking for. And the move paid off. “You could see his acting became more relaxed,” continued the actor. “ He became more Harrison-like. The coach helped!”

The actor revealed Disney has put an extra focus on making sure Solo is a hit given The Last Jedi missed the studio’s expectations by $200 million. Will it happen? That remains to be seen.

We only saw the first trailer for Solo last month even though the movie is about two months from being released. Star Wars movies usually go through a much longer built-up cycle, but then again, this is the first time two Star Wars movies are being released within six months of each other. All of this is shaping up for an intersting theatrical run for the movie.

Solo: A Star Wars Story arrives in theaters May 25.

Vulture

Danny Zepeda

Born and raised in Southern California, Danny grew up on a steady diet Pixar, Star Wars and Steven Spielberg movies. Unbeknownst to him, this was...

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