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UPDATED: The Han Solo movie loses its directors over creative differences

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“I’ve got a bad feeling about this!”

The Han Solo movie was being directed by Phil Lord and Christopher Miller. The film stars Alden Ehrenreich as Han Solo, Woody Harrelson, Emilia Clarke, Donald Glover as Lando Calrissian, Thandie Newton, and Phoebe Waller-Bridge, with Joonas Suotamo as Chewbacca.

The film has been shooting in London since February and has three weeks left of production. It is due out on 25th May 2018. Therefore, it is rather surprising to hear that Lord and Miller have stepped away from the film.

Here is what Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy had to say in an official 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. A new director will be announced soon,” said Kathleen Kennedy, president of Lucasfilm.

Lord and Miller had this to say:

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.

It is very surprising they would leave this late in production. However, there will be a bit of a mad rush to find a new director. Tony Gilroy was brought in for reshoots on Rogue One so could he be back for this one?

UPDATE: Variety had some more news about the situation and they are saying Lord and Miller were fired! Apparently there was conflict with Kennedy from early in the production. Miller and Lord were stunned to find that they were not being granted freedom to run the production in the manner that they were accustomed to. They balked at Kennedy’s tight control on the set. “It was a culture clash from day one,” their source said. “She didn’t even like the way they folded their socks.”

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.

The duo also clashed with Lawrence Kasdan ( Empire Strikes Back and ‪Raiders of the Lost Ark), who also wrote, with his son, Jon Kasdan, the script for the Han Solo stand-alone film. Like Kennedy, he questioned many of the pair’s directing choices.

“Kathy, her team and Larry Kasdan have been doing it their way for a very long time. They know how the cheese is made and that’s how they want it made,” said the source. “It became a very polarizing set.”

THR had some more information – 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.

The creative clash, according to one insider, also came down to differences in understanding the character of Han Solo. “People need to understand that Han Solo is not a comedic personality. He’s sarcastic and selfish,” said that source.

Lord and Miller, who had relocated to London with their families for preproduction and production of the movie, were said to have been blindsided by the firing, which they learned about Monday, according to one source, although another disputed that account.

The production had gone on a short hiatus to review what had been shot and to clear the air.

Ron Howard, Joe Johnston, and Lawrence Kasdan have all been rumoured to finish directing the film.

It does seem odd to hire a pair of directors to infuse the “Star Wars” universe with a tongue-in-cheek sensibility, and then not be happy with them doing just that. Of course, we will never get the full picture as to what happened and who said what. I just really hope that at the end of the day we get a good film.

The question is what does this mean for the film? What couldn’t they agree on? Is it doomed or is this just a slight hiccup?

How do you feel about the news?

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