Ron Howard Provided BTS Insight
Another marked difference under Ron Howard's production, a factor distinctly different from every other modern Star Wars production, is his heavy use of social media, regularly teasing behind the scenes details or trolling fans. While he hasn't overtly Tweeted or Instagrammed any spoilers, it is possible to look at what he's posted to get a rough idea of a minimum number of scenes he's worked on. Sure, he probably hasn't teased every single set, so we're still partially shooting in the dark, but it's enough to establish that, as a baseline, Ron Howard has shot at least 14 different scenes, per pictures on his Twitter and Instagram.
This information isn't very useful without a copy of the script or seeing the final product, but as a (very rough) comparison, Rogue One and The Force Awakens each had between 20-25 different settings each. Some scenes were obviously shot and cut, and the same could happen with Han Solo, but by comparing this number to what we've seen in other recent Star Wars movies, it once again puts Howard's production at well over 50% of the work done by Lord and Miller, lining up very nicely with the numbers we got by comparing the production timelines.
All things being equal, that means that Ron Howard's production could hypothetically eclipse 100% of the work done by Lord and Miller as soon as October 5th with more conservative estimates marking that point at November 9th. Just because Ron Howard reaches that November 9th date doesn't necessarily mean he's actually replaced each and every frame of Lord & Miller's work, though. Just that he's likely shot an equivalent amount. Lord & Miller had a number of weeks left when they were fired, though, meaning Ron Howard may need to keep cameras rolling as long as the end of November if he's going to be responsible for every single shot of the movie himself.
Now, when Ron Howard came aboard, he said Lord and Miller's footage was "very usable" and he intended to honor what they'd already done. That's a very gracious thing for him to say, and we can probably take him at his word to an extent. Lots of decisions were made before Howard came on, particularly the cast and crew, so the fact that they're not simply starting over at square one means they're definitely honoring a lot of Lord and Miller's choices. As far as the "very usable" footage he references, we just need to look at the areas that weren't highlighted as a problem. Of note, nothing was said about any action scenes or effects sequences, which always make up a good chunk of most Star Wars movies.
He has yet to reach the point in the timeline where we can assume he's thrown all their work out, but based on the diagnosis of the movie's issues, it seemed like the majority of the unusable footage was mostly dialogue or drama oriented. In fact, the reshoots of these portions were so significant that Michael K. Williams' character reportedly has to be recast entirely since he's unable to participate in reshoots. In fact, Howard has brought in a few new actors, notably his own brother and Paul Bettany, in unspecified roles. Both actors are seasoned performers, so their roles are likely more than simple cameos, suggesting they're a part of new scenes, not replacements for existing characters. Either way, their involvement is a clear separation from L&M.
A reportedly positive response from Disney execs after a viewing of a sizzle reel - which are usually action heavy - definitely corroborates the idea that Lord & Miller's action scenes were usable, but a Tweet from Howard where he says he's working out the logistics of a "high octane" action sequence suggests that none of Lord & Miller's footage is sacred. Given, it could have been a scene Lord & Miller hadn't gotten to yet, indicating Howard is already pushing on beyond the work completed before him. At this point, it's just a matter of seeing how long production continues. As each week goes by and Ron Howard sends out another image to social media, that's just one more piece of Lord & Miller's involvement getting slowly erased.
- 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