A few weeks ago, it was revealed that Lucasfilm had fired Han Solo directors Phil Lord and Chris Millers from the project, and in their place, they put in veteran helmer Ron Howard. In recent years, the replacing of directors is something that’s been revealed to happen on fairly regular basis. Hell, just a couple months back, Joss Whedon replaced Zack Snyder as director of the Justice League for the reshoots (albeit under completely different circumstances). However, with Lucasfilm, it’s become something of a pattern.
Josh Trank was fired from the Boba Fett movie for his behavior on Fantastic Four, Gareth Edwards was basically a puppet during the reshoots of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story as Tony Gilroy took the helm, and now this. It seems to portray a disturbing trend, and while Lucasfilm is still currently two-for-two in strong films since they resuscitated the Star Wars franchise, this seeming failure to hire the right directors isn’t promising. This problem is amplified by the fact that the production of Han Solo was months in, with only about three-and-a-half weeks left. It was a really awkward time to make the switch, and there’s no amount of spin that can make this out to be a good thing.
To make matters worse, this is a film that fans themselves have been wary about. Not very many people WANTED to see their on-screen hero’s legacy possibly tainted by a disingenuous portrayal. The creative differences and director change don’t make things any easier.
So where does this leave Lucasfilm? How can they possibly get ahead of this in a big way? Allow me to point you to another film that had to overcome an abundance of negative press: Justice League.
On the heels of a less than ideal release of Batman v Superman, everyone was talking about how the future of the DC Extended Universe was looking grim — literally. While the dark tone wasn’t the real fault of the film, it was the big takeaway that the studio seemed to put down in their little diaries, and they weren’t going to make that mistake again. Problem is, they could tell fans that future films would be lighthearted until they were blue in the face, and that would change nothing. Instead, they flew out a bunch of journalists to the set, where they showed them actual footage from the flick, and rather than force them to hold it under embargo for months until a few weeks prior to the flick’s release, they let them release their coverage to the masses right away.
The purpose here wasn’t to hype up fans for the film’s release, but to dowse any concerns fans were understandably already having. Since that time, Justice League has had its ups and downs in the public eye, but in that moment, it was an effective way to change the perception of what the film could be for fans, as well as get a host of positive feedback that would get spread throughout the internet. It wasn’t long before a trailer was released for general audiences to enjoy at 2016’s San Diego Comic-Con.
So how is this relevant to Han Solo?
Well, I’d say the film has faced its share of negative press in the past few weeks, and wonder if Lucasfilm is looking to do something similar. I’m necessarily talking about flying out a bunch of journalists to the set or anything — that’s probably the last thing they should do as they’re trying to figure this film out — but with D23 on the horizon, there is an opportunity to cut together a quick teaser trailer that shows everything is all right.
Now, the first bit of criticism that this move may face is that Lucasfilm wasn’t happy with the project, so what makes us think they have any footage to work with? Admittedly, we don’t have any real solid evidence of this, but according to a recently-reported rumor from Star Wars News Net, when seen in isolation, many of the scenes play out pretty well. If this is true, Lucasfilm could pick and choose the scenes that help fit the style they’re going for, and go from there. If they’re quick enough, they may even be able to grab a few scenes from the first couple days of shooting with Ron Howard at the helm (production resumes on July 10th).
Would the teaser be a shoot ‘em up action-fest? Probably not. But at this point, it may be worth it for them to convince the audience that they are still able to meet that May 2018 release date.
What do you think? Do you think we could see a Han Solo teaser at this year’s D23? Let us know your thoughts down below!