The untitled Han Solo-centric Star Wars spinoff film has nearly finished shooting, but it was announced this morning that directors Phil Lord and Christopher Miller — who also made the beloved Lego Movie — are leaving the project. According to the Hollywood Reporter, who broke the news, the movie had been filming since February of this year in London, and THR‘s sources say the film was set to shoot for only several more weeks.
Both the directors and Lucasfilm head Kathleen Kennedy released the requisite, cordial press statements about the, er, conscious uncoupling. Kennedy said, “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.” She also noted that they’d be announcing another director, who’ll apparently cobble whatever’s there together with reshoots set for this summer, in due time.
Meanwhile, Lord and Miller said, “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.”
As THR notes, a similar fate befell Rogue One, with Tony Gilroy doing rewrites and reshoots after Gareth Edwards did most of the directing work. That movie fared quite well critically and financially, though for the little that it’s worth, I thought it came across as pretty unremarkable.
The Han Solo film is still set for release on May 25, 2018. Outside of the bad-looking directorial departure, the film does boast a pretty enticing cast: it’ll star Hail, Caesar!‘s Alden Ehrenreich as Han Solo, Donald Glover as Lando Carlrissian, and, per IMDB, Woody Harrelson, Phoebe-Waller Bridge, Thandie Newton, Emilia Clarke, and Michael Kenneth Williams.
Update: Variety now has a lot more information (from “sources” that sound somewhat subjective, so take this with a grain of salt) on what led to the split. There’s so much detail here, in fact, that there’s even room in their article for mention from a source about Kennedy apparently not liking the way Miller and Lord “folded their socks.” (Unfortunately, it’s hard to take sides on this one without some very clear ankle pics.) Supposedly the directing pair had been hired due to the irreverent tone they could potentially bring to the Star Wars world — but conflict arose when they claimed they weren’t being given freedom. They allegedly also clashed with Lawrence Kasdan, a co-writer and executive producer. And they did not leave, Variety writes, but were actually fired by LucasFilm. The publication also claims Ron Howard is one of the directors now being considered to take over.