Lucasfilm’s Solo: A Star Wars Story may have been much more chaotic production than we’ve been led to believe, should we believe a recent rumor. An inside source reveals major problems with Phil Lord and Chris Miller’s directing style, Alden Ehrenreich’s acting ability, and the mounting confusion that led to Ron Howard’s sudden hiring to save the project.
While some of these issues might sound familiar, the additional details provided by this source really drives home this production’s struggles. Vulture spoke with this source — a secondary (non-star) actor on the film — who described the atmosphere as “disorganized” and “chaotic” during Lord and Miller’s reign.
Lord and Miller were the highly-successful duo behind 21 Jump Street, Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, and The LEGO Movie — lighter, looser projects without the big-budget pressures and impossibly high fan expectations inherent to Star Wars.
The source related that Lord and Miller appeared to be “out of their depth” at times, regularly requiring 30 takes per scene — slowing down production and straining the budget. The source explains:
“Phil and Chris are good directors, but they weren’t prepared for Star Wars. After the 25th take, the actors are looking at each other like, ‘This is getting weird.’ [Lord and Miller] seemed a bit out of control. They definitely felt the pressure; with one of these movies, there are so many people on top of you all the time. The first assistant director was really experienced and had to step in to help them direct a lot of scenes.”
Joy Fehily, a Lord and Miller spokesperson, disputes this, calling it: “Completely inaccurate.” However, Fehily does not deny it.
And then there were the issues with Ehrenreich, an up-and-coming actor who was asked to “mimic” Harrison Ford’s iconic performance — Solo takes place about a decade before we first meet Han Solo in Star Wars: A New Hope, so there wasn’t a lot of room for improvisation. The source relates:
“Trying to mimic Harrison Ford is really tough. Lucasfilm wanted something very specific: copying someone else. Alden’s not a bad actor — just not good enough.”
Ouch, that’s a really harsh assessment, but the source backs it up by describing the hiring of an acting coach, which he states was “nearly unprecedented,” but may have yielded a better performance.
Toward the end of Solo‘s production, Lucasfilm pulled the plug on Lord and Miller. News hit the wire almost immediately, which is how most of the cast and crew learned of it, and also the subsequent hiring of Howard. The source states:
“They fired our bosses. Everyone was texting each other: ‘Did you see the news? Do you think they’re doing reshoots?’ It was messy. And it was crazy how everything got leaked to the press.”
There’s no way to validate this source’s quotes, but they ring true based on everything else we’ve heard to-date. The source related both positive and negative sides of each problem, so it doesn’t seem like he’s just grinding an ax. However, you have to wonder how much of a toll the weight of all these troubles (and the bad press they’ve earned) will have on Solo‘s box office.
Solo is also facing absolutely insane competition — a lot of it from other Disney properties — shortly before and after its release date. Solo hits theaters a month after Avengers: Infinity War and a week after Deadpool 2; The Incredibles 2 and Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom hit a few weeks later. Consequently, Solo has a tiny window to recover the costs of its initial budget and its massive reshoots. Star Wars fans have plenty of reason to be concerned, as the success or failure of this movie will almost certainly impact future ‘anthology’ films.
Fortunately, this same source related that Ron Howard’s impact on the film was significant and may have saved the project, which we’ll tackle in a separate story tomorrow.
Are you still planning to see Solo: A Star Wars Story after hearing about all of these problems? Let us know in the comments down below!
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