The Last Jedi director Rian Johnson has nothing but praise for Solo: A Star Wars Story. It's no secret that the upcoming Han Solo movie has endured a fairly troubled production process. The film's original directing duo of Phil Lord and Chris Miller left the project last June after five months of filming, a departure that was chalked up to the age-old explanation of "creative differences." Days later, Hollywood veteran Ron Howard was brought in to finish the film. (We use the term "finish" loosely there, because rumor has it that he ended up reshooting nearly the entire movie.) Movies that endure director turnover during filming aren't exactly on the fast-track to success, and paired with other troubling behind-the-scenes stories we've heard about Solo, there's growing concern that the movie will fall well short of expectations.
As the director of the most divisive Star Wars movie to date, Rian Johnson is no stranger to controversy himself. While The Last Jedi may have been almost universally praised by critics and earned a ton at the box office, it managed to split the fanbase right down the middle. A sizable group of fans may not put a ton of stock in Johnson's opinions, but at this point, most will take any good news they can get regarding Solo: A Star Wars Story.
Comicbook caught up with Johnson at the AARP Movies for Grownup Awards, asking him if he'd caught Solo's trailer, which made its long-awaited debut a few weeks ago during the Super Bowl. Judging from his reply, it sounds like he's seen a lot more than the trailer.
I knew it was coming, but I was still…I was clicking, clicking, clicking, 'yeah, yeah!' And I think it looks so beautiful. I can't wait for people to see more of the film – it's so fun, it's so funny. The cast is so charismatic, and I think they all just did a great job with it.
Reception to the first footage of Solo: A Star Wars Story was largely positive, so the movie's already been trending back up in recent weeks, but Johnson's comments certainly don't hurt. It definitely sounds like he's seen a whole lot more footage than we have, likely even a near-complete cut of the film. His feedback also aligns with what Donald Glover had to say about the movie, for what it's worth.
It is worth noting that Johnson is still employed by Lucasfilm, as he's developing his own separate trilogy for them set elsewhere in the Star Wars universe, so it's not like he was ever going to badmouth the Han Solo movie. Still, we're going to take Johnson's word for it, because "I have a bad feeling about this" is a terrible mentality to head into a movie with.
- Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018) release date: May 25, 2018