Well, there go my hopes for the future of Star Wars.
Phil Lord and Chris Miller, the directors behind 21 Jump Street and The Lego Movie have been neck deep in production on a Star Wars anthology movie about Han Solo’s early years. This has always sounded like a dumb idea to me except that Lord and Miller have a history of turning things that look dumb on paper into great films (and shows). Young Han Solo has been filming since February –4 months now– and now they’ve left the production with the reason “creative differences” being cited.
[The Hollywood Reporter has the scoop](http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/heat-vision/star-wars-han-solo-film-loses-directors-10154190.
Here’s the statement from Kathleen Kennedy of Lucasfilm:
“Phil Lord and Christopher Miller are talented filmmakers who have assembled an incredible cast and crew, but it’s become clear that we had different creative visions on this film, and we’ve decided to part ways. A new director will be announced soon”
And from Lord and Miller:
“Unfortunately, our vision and process weren’t aligned with our partners on this project. We normally aren’t fans of the phrase ‘creative differences’ but for once this cliché is true. We are really proud of the amazing and world-class work of our cast and crew”
Lord and Miller are a uniquely creative duo with a proven track record. This isn’t the first time a uniquely creative director has left the production of a franchise film, or even the first time LucasFilm has fired someone from a Star Wars movie, but usually all that stuff goes down well ahead of production, not when it’s almost wrapped. One THR reporter is saying there are only 3 weeks left in the shoot! You might be thinking about Zack Snyder leaving Justice League, but that was due to a personal tragedy not whatever “creative differences” are.
LucasFilm is –as of this writing– maintaining the films 25th May 2018 release date and has said that they are going to bring someone else on to finish the production.
So to re-iterate: there go my hopes for Star Wars. It’s not just that Lord and Miller are gone, but bringing someone else on board to finish the shooting and handle the post production is a bad idea. Rogue One has already been through this, Tony Gilroy was brought on board to oversee re-writes and re-shoots on that one and while the resulting movie is good, even those who love it admit that they can see the seams where two different movies have been stitched together, and that’s the best case result.
Also, what must have happened to make this happen? Did they show Kathleen Kennedy a rough cut and she hated it? Did someone insult someone’s mother?Whatever happened, who will they bring in to finish it up? How much of it will be re-written?
Also also, whatever happened, is it a result of LucasFilm exerting too much control over things and not letting the talented and esoteric directors they keep hiring be talented and esoteric? Because that’s certainly how it suddenly feels, and I wonder how much freedom Rian Johnson has on Episode VIII.
This has all the hallmarks of being a major clusterfuck, and I feel bad for whoever comes on board to finish the film because whether the film turns out good or bad this story is going to be told every time the film is talked about. For many people –myself included– Lord and Miller were the only reason this sounded like it might work. Whoever takes over is in for a rough time.