Chris Miller & Phil Lord Out and Ron Howard In – IP Movies Reacts to Star Wars Han Solo Upheaval

*** what is your take on the the recent dismissal of Chris Miller & Phil Lord six months into production of the still to be titled HAN SOLO movie***

Travis Leamons

So you’re telling me the duo that gave us 21 Jump Street and The LEGO Movie have been dismissed from the untitled HAN SOLO movie that is six months into production. Hmmm.

It would seem that over at Lucasfilm, producer Kathleen Kennedy and writer-director-producer Lawrence Kasdan are very protective of the Star Wars brand and Lord & Miller looked to go off-script with their take on a young scruffy-looking nerfherder. Perhaps their vision of Han Solo was more like Marvel’s Star-Lord. Both brands may be owned by Disney, but similar makeup of the characters may not jive with what Kennedy and Kasdan had envisioned.

The dismissal of Lord & Miller this far into production is a big shake-up, but when their replacement was announced to be Ron Howard I can’t understand why people are upset with the decision. Come on, he made Willow! Is it because of Howard’s track record with good but underwhelming (read: moneymaking) films like Rush or In the Heart of the Sea? His Robert Langdon franchise (The Da Vinci Code, Angels & Demons, Inferno), regardless of quality – seriously, they are getting worse and worse – are making money, and so will Han Solo.

Though it is apparent that if you work for Disney, Lucasfilm, and Marvel Studios, you must yield creative freedom if you want to get ahead. The same happened to Edgar Wright with Ant-Man as well as Gareth Edwards who, with Rogue One, was put in the back of the bus as Tony Gilroy (Michael Clayton) came in to do script revisions and production re-shoots.

Lord & Miller will be fine, as long as they make the movies they write themselves.

Mike Noyes

I’m shocked it took them this long to figure out things weren’t working. Everyone should have know their directing style going in so I don’t know why they’re all suddenly shocked at what they’ve been doing.

I’ll be really curious to see how much footage of theirs Ron Howard uses and how much will have to be re shot.

And on the subject of Ron Howard. Not that he makes bad movies, but he doesn’t make exciting movies. At least not to me. They’re all pretty vanilla. I’d say Parenthood is his best film. Love that flick. So maybe that’s a good choice for Lucas to redo/finish this film.

I was never that excited about a young Han Solo movie in the first place, but I’m at least curious enough at this point to see how it turns out.

John Cavanagh

Lord and Miller have been my unknowing Sherpas through life for many years now. It’s a weird way to start a response to this, but gosh darn it, that’s how they’ve raised me.

I hated the news of a Han Solo film from when we all started hearing about it, which was roughly 20 seconds after Disney and George Lucas signed the deal that traded hands between the Star Wars franchise and 4 Billion dollars. It was a long, uncomfortable period of knowing and just waiting to hear about a Han and/or Boba Fett movie.

When I heard that Chris and Phil were taking over, it literally filled me with enough hope to destroy Alderaan (Fuck Alderaan). Those two knuckleheads are packed with enough “eh, fuck it, let’s see how far we can go until they tell us no” that we get the types of critically and audience acclaimed entertainment like Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, 21 and 22 Jump Street, and The Lego Movie. All of which we heard were happening and groaned loud enough to be heard from outer space — potentially from a galaxy far, far away.

We all cheered up when they were hired for ‘Solo’. Solo being the name on the production crew shirts that now have images circling around on social media and make all types of sense for a film title, yet the project is still titles “Untitled Han Solo Project” amongst industry people, despite D23 being right around the corner.

I want to be the fanboy yelling from the rooftop about this, that Lord and Millar were screwed over. I had to be a fan of the franchise after a decade of the prequels. But at the end of the day, I respect Kathleen Kennedy more than any other producer. If there were a Hall of Fame for Hollywood Producers, she’d be in the top five of All-Time. Lawrence Kasdan is arguably why we have a Star Wars Universe to begin with. Like the two guys said, it might have just boiled down to creative differences. However, I think that’s where a genuine worry starts.

When Garreth Edwards was removed from ‘Rogue One’ almost by force so that Tony Gilroy could reshoot and fix the film, not many people batted an eye, but it made me very worried considering just how public it was and how the company has basically deleted it from all of history in terms of making of books and home video special features. According the LucasFilms, the film shows was the movie intended to be made.

So what now? We have so far only seen a cast photo with the directors who filmed all but three weeks of footage. Are they going to be brushed out of that photo in place of Ron Howard? Is this the turning point of directors with a hit being able to push back and say no to a studio mandated “Universe” film? Are those cinematic universe films going to only be relegated to studio yes men that can direct the hell out of a series pilot?

We’re in a really fantastic period right now with a generation of film makers who could arguably rival ’99 for output. Dan Trachtenberg, Lord/Millar, Rian Johnson, The Daniels, Taika Watiki, even Tony Gillroy and Dan Gillroy. At this point I’m worried if this is becoming a franchise looking to revitalize younger audiences to care or not. After those awful prequels and that Clone Wars animated film that barely opened in the top five, is it really time to turn the reigns over to old Hollywood like Ron Howard? And yet again, I LOVE Ron Howard. I defend him! I want to go out right now an see Master and Commander 7 already.

All of this happening with three weeks of principle to go and 5 weeks of reshoot a planned, I can stop thinking why it took this long and why things got this far. Again.