When news first broke that Phil Lord and Christopher Miller were chosen to helm the second Star Wars spinoff movie, “Solo: A Star Wars Story”, cinephiles lost their shit. After all, these are the guys that brought us fantastic, smart comedies like “21 and 22 Jumpstreet” and also “The Lego Movie”. Hiring Lord and Miller meant that the Han Solo movie would be heading in a completely different direction as compared to previous films. Everything seemed dandy. Lord and Miller had signed the dotted lines and production was well on the way.
And then something happened…
More than 4 months into shooting the film, news suddenly broke that Lord and Miller were fired by Kathleen Kennedy (basically the Kevin Feige of Star Wars) due to creative differences. What on earth? People started to worry. It’s one thing to fire directors before production, it’s another to fire directors when production is about to complete. Reasons for firing Lord and Miller varied. Some say it’s due to creative differences, others say it’s because they didn’t know how to fold their socks (I wish this is a joke). To salvage the situation, Kathleen Kennedy hired the ultimate studio yes man, Mr. Ron Howard.
It was initially assumed that Ron Howard would just be doing some reshoots and tweaking to Lord and Miller’s work. However, Star Wars News Net‘s The Resistance Broadcast has reported that Ron Howard reshot approximately 80% of “Solo: A Star Wars Story.” On top of that, the report also mentions that these reshoots have doubled the production budget, though, the exact value is unclear as of now.
It is important to note that, this isn’t an official confirmation by Lucasfilm nor Disney. I can’t confirm the reliability of The Resistance Broadcast but they have had some reliable scoops in the past.
I guess the question on everyone’s mind is:
Should we panic?
This is the second time a Star Wars spin-off movie has been hit with production issues. “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story” who credited Gareth Edwards — “Godzilla” — as their director, actually had Tony Gilroy, who’s known for his work on “House of Cards” and “The Bourne Legacy” come in to handle reshoots. It was reported that close to 40% of the film that we saw in the cinemas, including the ending, were all heavily reworked by Gilroy. Which would probably explain why a lot of what we saw in the “Rogue One” trailer isn’t in the final product.
The firing of Lord and Miller just adds insult to injury. Some are wondering if the movie will be able to make its summer 2018 release date. Many people think that the movie will turn out to be an absolute shit show considering how much Lawrence Kasdan, the screenwriter and pretty much the man who MADE Han Solo, hated what he was witnessing on set when Lord and Miller were the directors.
Having said that, the Kathleen Kennedy era of Star Wars has an excellent track record so far. “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” is critically acclaimed and is the 3rd highest grossing movie of all time, worldwide, raking in $2.06 billion. “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story”, despite a less-than-smooth production, is also well received by the critics and made big bucks at the global box office. “Star Wars: The Last Jedi,” which is set to be released later this year is predicted to be both a smash hit at the box office and amongst critics, especially considering the director, Rian Johnson’s past work – “Brick”, “Looper”, and a few episodes of “Breaking Bad”.
Despite the dark cloud that hovers over the production of “Solo: A Star Wars Story,” it’s best if fans just trust Kathleen Kennedy and Lucasfilm, since they have delivered time and time again. However, many (myself included) are speculating that this Han Solo spinoff movie will be pushed back to December 2018.