Directors Phil Lord and Christopher Miller were well into production on Solo: A Star Wars Story when they were fired, and now Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy has weighed in on the situation, months later.
In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Kennedy explained that it was an incredibly difficult decision to make and that she actively tried to avoid it. “I just say over and over again that, yes, it was an incredibly difficult decision that we had to make and obviously it was pretty late in the game, which shows we spent a lot of time trying not to have to make that decision,” Kennedy said. “And I think both Chris and Phil are enormously talented and incredibly funny. When all of this came together, all of us wanted nothing more than to have this be an incredible working experience. And when it was not working out as we had all hoped, it wasn’t out of lack of talent.”
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Kennedy went on to explain where she thinks the problem was with Lord and Miller’s time on the movie. “I think these guys are hilarious, but they come from a background of animation and sketch comedy and when you are making these movies you can do that and there’s plenty of room for improvisation, we do that all the time,” she said.
“But it has to be inside of a highly structured process or you can’t get the work done and you can’t move the armies of people to anticipate and have things ready. So, it literally came down to process. Just getting it done,” Kennedy continued. It sounds as if the directors’ style didn’t fit into the style of filmmaking that Lucasfilm usually opts to use; not that they weren’t doing a good job.
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“There comes a point where there’s only so much you can do and then you have to take a different course and that’s where we ended up,” Kennedy concluded. After Lord and Miller exited the Star Wars spin-off, director Ron Howard stepped in. Reportedly reshooting a big portion of the movie, it’s hard to know whether the finished product will be anywhere near the same as it could have once been. Though if the first trailer is anything to go by, it looks like moviegoers are going to be for a nostalgia-filled ride.
Debuting in theaters on May 25, Solo: A Star Wars Story is directed by Ron Howard and stars Alden Ehrenreich as Han Solo, Woody Harrelson as Tobias Beckett, Emilia Clarke as Qi’ra, Donald Glover as Lando Calrissian, Thandie Newton as Val, Phoebe Waller-Bridge as L3-37, Joonas Suotamo as Chewbacca, Paul Bettany as Dryden Vos and Harley Durst as Moloch.