The original vision for Solo: A Star Wars Story was similar to the tone of the film that ended up in theaters, with a new report revealing how the former directors set the palette that was inherited by their replacement. Solo's original directors, Phil Lord and Chris Miller, were removed from the project last summer due to creative differences. Two days later, Lucasfilm announced that Ron Howard would be replacing them as the director.
A veteran filmmaker who's no stranger to blockbusters, Howard reshot around 70 percent of the movie, doubling its budget in the process. While most may agree the final film that hit theaters this past weekend is perfectly enjoyable, reviews of Solo: A Star Wars Story were relatively mixed. Still, based on a recent report concerning the director change on Solo, the film's gritty take on the story of young Han Solo was in place from the get-go, with Lord and Miller setting the stage for the movie's.
In an interview with Variety, the cast and crew of Solo gave their input on what exactly went down behind the scenes. According to Variety, Lord and Miller's experimental approach was leading them to create a "gritty, grimy palette." As was previously reported, Lord and Miller's style of directing didn't sit well with Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy, who ultimately fired them. According to Lawrence Kasdan, who co-wrote Solo with his son Jonathan, it had to do with the movie's overall tone.
"This was a very complicated situation. When you go to work in the morning on a Star Wars movie, there are thousands of people waiting for you, and you have to be very decisive and very quick about it. When you are making those split-second decisions - and there are a million a day - then you are committing to a certain tone. If the [producers] think that isn’t the tone of the movie, you’re going to have trouble."
This was a much different situation than what some assumed. Given that Lord and Miller were the guys behind The LEGO Movie and 21 Jump Street, a Star Wars buddy comedy with Han and Lando seemed right in their wheelhouse. In reality, they were drawing inspiration from the seedy underbelly of the Star Wars universe. According to Emilia Clarke, who plays Qi'ra, Lord and Miller were also "stretching days out with experimentation." This didn't sit will with Kennedy either, who ultimately replaced them with Howard.
Even though Lord and Miller were only weeks away from wrapping, it's unlikely we'll ever see Solo through their eyes. The closest we may come is if the reported trailer that's made up entirely of footage they filmed makes its way online. Apparently Lucasfilm had one ready for last year's Star Wars Celebration in Orlando. Obviously leery of the project back then, they opted not to screen it in public. Now that Solo isn't exactly blowing away expectations at the box office, it could prompt Disney to re-evaluate their approach to the franchise overall.
- Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018) release date: May 25, 2018
- Star Wars 9 / Star Wars: Episode IX (2019) release date: Dec 20, 2019