Michael K. Williams’ character in the upcoming young Han Solo spinoff movie has been cut as the project makes its way through reshoots under the watch of new director Ron Howard. As many viewers know by now, the Oscar winning filmmaker took over for the fired Phil Lord and Chris Miller, who were dismissed in late June with three weeks to go in principal photography due to creative differences with Lucasfilm. In the months since, Howard has helped shift the conversation to the more positive side of the spectrum, posting a variety of set photos and videos on social media to give fans a behind-the-scenes peek at how things are going.
While some understandably remain skeptical of Han Solo‘s prospects, others are still optimistic it can be another fine addition to the Star Wars franchise. Chief among the movie’s assets is the all-star cast, which includes names such as Alden Ehrenreich, Donald Glover, Emilia Clarke, and Woody Harrelson. Emmy nominee Michael K. Williams was also set to be part of the ensemble, joining the anthology back in March in a mystery supporting role. Unfortunately, as Han Solo continues to settle after the overhaul, Williams is no longer lending his talents to the Star Wars galaxy.
In an interview with Deadline, the actor revealed the changes created a scheduling conflict with other commitments, including the film The Red Sea Diving Resort and the SundanceTV series Hap and Leonard. As it stands, Williams is going to be busy until the end of November, making it impossible for Lucasfilm to wait until he was available again (Han Solo is set to come out in May 2018). He reflected on his time on the film, feeling proud of the work he accomplished:
“I felt great about what I created with the directors that I worked with. It is what it is… When Ron Howard got hired to finish out the film, there were some reshoot issues that needed to be done in regards to my character, in order for it to match the new direction which the producers wanted Ron to carry the film in. And that would have required me on a plane a month ago to London, to Pinewood, to do reshoots. But I’m here, on location in Africa. It’s scheduling.”
Williams also offered details about his character, which he described as a half-human, half-animal hybrid creature. That certainly would have been interesting to see, as no similar aliens have been seen in the previous Star Wars films. His comments also seem to shed some light on the current state of the production, making it sound like a sizable chunk of the film is being reshot to line up with Howard’s style. It was said shortly after the kerfuffle most of Lord and Miller’s footage was “very usable,” but it’s now worth wondering how much of that will be in the final product. It’s apparent Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy didn’t see eye-to-eye with the LEGO Movie helmsmen’s vision for the movie, so Howard probably isn’t just doing customary pickups to put on some finishing touches. He’s putting a decent workload in, with filming set to run through September.
As disappointing it is to hear Williams won’t be in Han Solo, he left the door open for another collaboration with Lucasfilm down the line, saying, “I left with a very good taste in my mouth about the whole family.” Hopefully, the studio can find a spot for him in one of the many upcoming Star Wars films, whether as this human/animal character or someone entirely new. Depending on what’s already been shot, he could appear in deleted scenes on the Blu-ray, giving audiences a taste of the “kick-ass character” he had in store.
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