Phoebe Waller-Bridge has promised fans that Solo: A Star Wars Story will be "a beautiful film." The movie's production has been a troubled one. In June 2017, part way through filming, directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller left the project. Lucasfilm swiftly called in Ron Howard as a safe pair of hands, and there have been reports he reshot "nearly all" of the film for "twice the budget." Given that context, it's no surprise the stars are being asked some difficult questions.
Phoebe Waller-Bridge is the latest member of the cast to air her views. She's one of the main characters in Solo, although her identity is still being kept under wraps. It hasn't stopped Waller-Bridge speaking out about the production, though, and she gives a glowing account of everybody involved.
"The handover there was done with such warmth and generosity from everybody," the Fleabag actress told IGN, "and Ron’s just a master at his craft; he’s going to make a beautiful film out of it." It's clear that Waller-Bridge has always been a fan of Howard, who made his directorial debut back in 1977. She continued:
"You just really trust him and it was just really exciting to work with him. I mean, it would’ve been exciting to just pass him in a corridor, let alone for him to be parachuted in to the film you’re working on."
As excited as Waller-Bridge is to be working with Howard, she also insists that Lord and Miller did a good job too. "We’d done some really, really great stuff with Chris and Phil that everyone was really thrilled with," she explained, "and I think a lot of that will still be in it."
It's certainly wise for the Solo actress to play down reports of extensive reshoots. In fact, Waller-Bridge is the second to make this kind of comment in recent days. Donald Glover recently explained that, as far as his character was concerned, the reshoots were minimal.
The problem is that, for Solo, the reshoots have become the story. The last film that happened to was Justice League, and that's turned into an outright controversy. Warner Bros. is still facing petitions calling for the studio to release the film's Zack Snyder cut, and conversation among the fans has focused purely on trying to reconstruct the original, pre-Whedon version. Lord and Miller are loved by many fans for their whimsical, entertaining style; there's a real risk that Solo will follow the same pattern.
Matters are perhaps simplified by the fact Lucasfilm hasn't really started the marketing push for Solo yet. The film is due out in May, and yet the studio still hasn't released a Solo trailer. That's left fans more than a little concerned, but may actually be a good thing in the long run. It's not possible to go through the trailers trying to find evidence of the reshoots.
Whatever the truth may be about the scale of the reshoots, fans can take wary comfort from Waller-Bridge's words. She's clearly convinced that Solo will ultimately be a "happily ever after" story, and that Howard has what it takes to make this film work.
- Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018) release date: May 25, 2018
- Star Wars 9 / Star Wars: Episode IX (2019) release date: Dec 20, 2019