Ron Howard is playing coy about how much of Solo: A Star Wars Story he directed, following Phil Lord and Chris Miller's departure from the anthology film last summer. The directing duo, who are known for writing and directing comedies such as 21 Jump Street and The LEGO Movie, were originally attached to being Han Solo's origin story to life on the big screen for Lucasfilm. But in the wake of numerous creative differences, the pair exited the project with only three weeks of principal photography left on the schedule.
Oscar-winning filmmaker Ron Howard entered in the 11th hour and shepherded Solo through the rest of production. Solo officially wrapped in October 2017 - just about four months after Howard boarded the project. Considering they were filming for so long, people started to wonder just how much Howard was reshooting. Inside sources later revealed that Howard reshot almost 80 percent of Solo: A Star Wars Story for nearly twice the budget, which is understandable given the extra time devoted to filming, but that's something that Howard is reluctant to confirm... or deny.
In an interview with EW, Ron Howard expertly avoided answering a question about how much of Solo: A Star Wars Story he directed - and he (sort of) quoted Han Solo in doing so:
“As Han says, ‘Don’t tell me the percentages.’ Never tell me the percentages. I don’t really want to explain it. I don’t really want to be specific about that because, again, I don’t even want that to matter to fans. I could understand why you’d ask, and some might even be curious, but look, everybody who has been involved in this has done nothing but love what this movie could be, and that’s been the vibe around it. I think audiences are gonna feel that love and excitement.”
The famous line Howard is quoting is actually "Never tell me the odds," but "Never tell me the percentages" also works in this context. After all, Howard has said that Lord and Miller's "fingerprints" are all over Solo. Their footage was once deemed "very usable," so it makes sense for Howard and co. to use whatever footage they could for the final cut.
Sure, drawing comparisons between Lord & Miller's footage and Howard's footage may be counterproductive, since all everyone wanted was to deliver a great film. And as he says, everyone who worked on Solo: A Star Wars Story gave it their all, including Lord and Miller, who truly wanted to make a great Han Solo film. It's just that their goals differed from what Lucasfilm envisioned for Solo. That's neither good nor bad; it is what it is.
- Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018) release date: May 25, 2018
- Star Wars 9 / Star Wars: Episode IX (2019) release date: Dec 20, 2019