Yesterday, we shared an insider’s perspective regarding the series of unfortunate events that hamstrung Lucasfilm’s Solo: A Star Wars Story, and led to the firing of directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller. Things looked bleak for the anthology film, which was near the end of its production cycle, locked into a fixed release date, and short a director. Who could possibly save this film (and how)?
Fans worried that Lucasfilm might cancel the project or push its release out by a year or more. Instead, the studio doubled-down. Lucasfilm president, Kathleen Kennedy, re-confirmed Solo’s original release target, and then hired Ron Howard as its savior. Bold move, but would it work?
Howard’s hiring surprised a lot of people, but it also made a lot of sense. Howard and Star Wars creator, George Lucas, first met on the set of American Graffiti in 1973 (Howard was the lead actor). More than a decade later, Howard directed Willow for Lucas — a much beloved film with a strong cult following.
But many fans wondered if Howard was the right guy to get Solo film back on-track. He certainly has a solid track record as a director, but sci-fi isn’t really his specialty. Let’s return to our unnamed source for his thoughts.
Lord and Miller were grinding the cast and crew with nearly 30 takes per scene. The source related that Howard came in with poise and certainty; he worked “fast,” nailing scenes in just two or three takes. The source explains:
“When [Howard] came on, he took control and you could feel it. He got respect immediately. He’s really confident. A really easy guy to work with.”
Howard allegedly re-shot most of Solo, according to the source. How much of the final film is Lord and Miller and how much is Howard may never be fully known, but the former duo opted for an Executive Producer credit, which kind of says it all.
Interestingly, Howard did not re-write the script or add any new scenes. Given the lateness of his arrival and the fact that Solo was already near the end of principal photography, he saved a bunch of money by just putting his head down and executing what was already on the page, as the source describes:
“It’s exactly the same script. They’re filming exactly the same things. There’s nothing new. [Lord and Miller] used whole sets. But Ron is just using parts from those sets. I guess they’re not shooting wide angle. Maybe to save money.”
And there’s your reason to keep worrying, Star Wars fans. Howard is a pro, and he brought the project over the finish line (it’s going to hit its release date). But what will a rapidly re-shot Star Wars film look like? Will it be any good? Will mainstream fans turn up for a film with this much baggage? We’re about to find out.
Are you still planning to see Solo after hearing about all of these problems? Let us know in the comments down below!
Solo: A Star Wars Story hits theaters May 25, 2018.
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