Timeline of Evidence
Now that we've established the multiple problem areas Lucasfilm would like Ron Howard to address, let's take a look at how much of that he's done so far. In order to examine this topic, we're going to have to estimate the work done by Lord and Miller before their departure and then compare against what we know Ron Howard has done since coming on.
On January 30th 2017, Chris Miller tweeted an image of a clapperboard with Han Solo's working title "Red Cup" with the caption "Han First Shot," indicating the first shot of the movie had either just happened or was about to happen. Production didn't officially begin until February 20th, but just to give Lord & Miller the benefit of the doubt, we'll run with January 30th, assuming those extra 3 weeks were productive. With the duo's firing happening on June 20th, that means they had been shooting for approximately 20 weeks.
Ron Howard joined the project on June 22nd, and, as of this writing, Ron Howard has been reshooting Han Solo for approximately 11 weeks. Assuming an equivalent rate of production (although it's quite possible they're moving faster and pulling longer days), that means that Ron Howard has shot enough footage to equel 55% of Lord and Miller's movie.
With a reported 3 weeks of production remaining and the assumption of a typical 3 weeks of reshoots (had everything gone smoothly), that means that if Lord & Miller had stayed on to the end in a normal production, they would have been shooting for approximately 26 weeks. The movie's principal photography and reshoots seemed to have been rolled into the same schedule, but Ron Howard is fast approaching the halfway mark for the totality of the original production schedule.
Having said that, prior to the directors' firing, there were rumors saying that the movie was having issues and already going through reshoots during principal photography, meaning Lord and Miller's total production was moving even slower - in addition to the fact that they reportedly were regularly getting late starts and running off schedule - and that 55% shot by Ron Howard starts to look like a very generous number. He's likely done quite a bit more than that.
For context, World War Z - possibly the gold standard for extreme reshoots - underwent 7 weeks of reshoots to reportedly change 30-40 minutes of the film, most significantly altering the movie's second half.
The big difference with Han Solo is that nothing is actually being changed when it comes to the script (that we know of). Lord & Miller's production veered too far from the story and tone written by John and Larry Kasdan, so Ron Howard is redoing scenes that have already been created, meaning there's likely a lot of synergies since the cast and crew have already run through the scenes (to some extent), and many of the sets are likely already built.
It may seem like an old familiar story, but it couldn't be any more different. Instead of realizing the original vision of the movie was flawed and using reshoots to course correct, these reshoots are completely intended to honor the original intent. They may be taking a messy route to get there, but it raises a lot more eyebrows than red flags.
- Star Wars 8/Star Wars: The Last Jedi (2017) release date: Dec 15, 2017
- Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018) release date: May 25, 2018
- Star Wars 9 / Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (2019) release date: Dec 20, 2019