‘Star Wars’ Han Solo Film Loses Directors Phil Lord and Christopher Miller

Star Wars Han Solo spinoff
Courtesy of Disney

The untitled “Star WarsHan Solo spinoff has parted ways with directors Phil Lord and Christopher Miller, who cited “creative differences” for the split.

“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. A new director will be announced soon,” said Kathleen Kennedy, president of Lucasfilm, in a statement released Tuesday on the official Star Wars web site.

“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. We are really proud of the amazing and world-class work of our cast and crew,” added Phil Lord and Christopher Miller.

Sources say Ron Howard is in talks to take over the film, but there is no deal as yet.

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Phil Lord, Chris MillerStar Wars Celebration Europe 2016, London, UK - 17 Jul 2016Star Wars Celebration Europe 2016, the official Lucasfilm event celebrating all things Star Wars, produced by fans for fans, at Excell, London.

‘Star Wars’ Han Solo Spinoff: Lord & Miller Fired After Clashing With Kathleen Kennedy (EXCLUSIVE)

The film started principal photography on Feb. 20 at London’s Pinewood Studios, with Alden Ehrenreich starring in the origin story about the character first made famous by Harrison Ford in 1977’s “Star Wars: A New Hope.”

Disney and Lucasfilm hired Lord and Miller — who had gained acclaim for directing “The Lego Movie” and the two “21 Jump Street” films — in July, 2015. Also starring are Donald Glover, Thandie Newton, Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Woody Harrelson, Michael K. Williams, Ian Kenny, Emilia Clarke and Joonas Suotamo.

Lord and Miller said on Feb. 20 as part of the start of production announcement, “Watching such inspired people from all over the world, with such unique voices, come together for the sole purpose of making art, is nothing short of miraculous. We can’t think of anything funny to say, because we just feel really moved, and really lucky.”

The Han Solo film is still in production with several weeks of re-shoots planned for the summer — which have long been planned. Disney said Tuesday that the Han Solo standalone remains slated for a May 25, 2018, release date but declined to elaborate further.

The script is written by Lawrence Kasdan and his son Jon Kasdan. The story focuses on how the young Han Solo became the smuggler, thief, and scoundrel whom Luke Skywalker and Obi-Wan Kenobi first encountered in the cantina at Mos Eisley in “A New Hope.” Lawrence Kasdan co-wrote other franchise entries “The Empire Strikes Back,” “Return of the Jedi,” and “The Force Awakens.”

Disney CEO Bob Iger said in an earnings call in March that the movie would cover Solo’s life from when he was 18 to 24, revealing how he came to own the Millennium Falcon as well as how he met his Wookie sidekick, Chewbacca. Glover has been cast as the young Lando Calrissian, who operates in the underworld, while Harrelson is playing a criminal and mentor to Han Solo. Suotamo is playing Chewbacca.

Produced by Kathleen Kennedy and Allison Shearmur, the Star Wars spin-off takes place before the events of the original movie “A New Hope” — similar to the time frame of the recent spin-off, “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story” which was the first of three stand-alone “Star Wars Anthology” movies. Released in December and directed by Gareth Edwards, “Rogue One” grossed $1.05 billion worldwide as the eighth film in the Star Wars franchise.

Disney and Lucasfilm are releasing “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” on Dec. 15 with Rian Johnson directing from his own script in a story that will follow the events of 2015’s “Star Wars: The Force Awakens.” They are also in pre-production on “Star Wars: Episode IX,” to be directed by Colin Trevorrow and written by Trevorrow and Derek Connolly, to be released on May 24, 2019.

Iger said in 2016 that Disney and Lucasfilm were planning on a third Star Wars Anthology stand-alone with a 2020 release date but the studio has not provided further details.

Disney bought Lucasfilm for $4 billion in October, 2012, and announced at that point that it would be releasing a trilogy of films in 2015, 2017 and 2019. Iger first announced plans for spinoffs in early 2013.

Disney announced early last year that “Star Wars: Episode VIII” had been pushed back from May 26, 2017, to the current Dec. 15 release date. The film, subsequently retitled “Star Wars: The Last Jedi,” stars Daisy Ridley, John Boyega and Oscar Isaac, who were all introduced in “The Force Awakens.”

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  1. paully says:

    With 11 months to opening expect new on a new director by weeks end..
    How about Martin Scorsese of Hideki Anno ??

  2. Leon Alvarado says:

    Star Wars is almost a sacred property. George Lucas himself almost destroyed it once with three very bad prequels that never had the actual look and feel of the original trilogy. The Force Awakens and Rogue One both had more of a Star Wars feel than any of the Lucas’ prequels. Under Disney and Kathleen Kennedy’s watch, the series has gone back to it’s roots. They have done a wonderful job in resurrecting the Star Wars canon. Having said that, the choosing of the directors of the Lego Movie and 21 Jump Street films always sounded to me like a bad choice. The movies require a director that can make a movie that strongly retains the DNA of the series while carefully introducing new elements. J. J. Abrams was perfect for the job on the first installment. He clearly understands which elements resonate well with audiences while keeping the core of the franchise’s storytelling, look and feel intact. I am sure that Kathleen Kennedy knows all too-well how to keep Star Wars looking like Star Wars. Lord and MIller seemed to me to me as being almost too-millenial for the job. Somebody like Joss Whedom would have been a better choice to begin with. My opinion anyway.

  3. I could write this film in 5 minutes. Han is gunna go full Navy (Imperial the Jedi just lost) meets Lando. Lando is like, “Whoa!” Hillarity ensuses. Han is now a pirate with the Falcon. Boom!

  4. jedijones77 says:

    Just shows how Kathleen Kennedy never really produced anything. What a rookie mistake. There’s no reason she nor the directors shouldn’t have been aware of what their job was going to be from the beginning. They are professionals. If she told them what was expected of them, they would’ve not taken the job if they weren’t willing to do it. First Force Awakens was delayed 6 months because they couldn’t “crack the story,” throwing the standard merchandise release schedule into chaos. Then there was the reshoot debacle on Rogue One, which also sidelined the director. And now this. There’s one common denominator in all of this chaos and that is Kathleen Kennedy.

  5. Allen Newman says:

    “Han Solo: A Superman II Story” directed by Richard Lester

  6. Rudy Mario says:

    Yawn.

  7. Dellie Q. says:

    You know Kasdan will just take over. Almost did that in Force Awakens.

  8. cadavra says:

    The STAR WARS movies are like James Bond pictures–the producers control everything. A director merely makes sure the set is lit and the cameras are loaded, and then hollers, “Action!”

  9. Please not Kasdan, please not Kasdan, please not Kasdan. His nihilistic worldview did nothing but harm to TFA.

  10. Phillip Ayling says:

    Isn’t this the very same Star Wars spin-off where Director Josh Tran quit…I mean, where he was fired…uh, I mean where he had ‘creative differences’with the MOUSE?

  11. If Solo is 24 at the end, this would be in the era just after Episode III (“Revenge of the Sith”) and about a decade before “A New Hope”. And “Rogue One” is the ninth theatrically released film (at least in North America) after the Original Saga, The Clone Wars and TFA.

  12. paully says:

    I’m guessing the film was awful and a Star Warsectomey is needed.. Calling Steven Spielberg or perhaps Joe Johnston??
    Is Martin Scorsese availiable ??

  13. L Silver says:

    Creative differences with who? Kathleen Kennedy? The Disney suits? Frankly, the only person whose creative opinion is worth a damn is George Lucas’. This new series/expanded universe/whatever has yet to produce one semi-decent film. Force Awakens-crappy. Rogue One-crappy. Don’t hold out much hope for Rian Johnson’s take and oh my god, don’t get me started on Trevorrow. I sorta had hope for this Han Solo movie with Lord and Miller helming it but thanks Kennedy for utterly destroying that. But that’s okay, I’m sure SW will continue to make billions of dollars because audiences are suckers for mediocre garbage as long as it feeds their addiction for nostalgia.

    • paully says:

      Rogue 1 was fantastic and the lesser Star Wars 7 “is the most popular movie by box office in the USA..
      (Skyfall is Britain’s #1, interesting)..

      But like you I’m waiting for the magical Star Wars film also, so far R1, SW, TESB only make the cut..

    • Grave Digger says:

      You are a very angry individual. Perhaps you need less movie-watching time and more therapy.

  14. Cass says:

    I can see that. Bet they wanted more goofball stuff, judging from their past work. I’m ok with this.

  15. Dude, untitled ‘Star Wars’ Han Solo spin-offs don’t part ways with people. People part ways with people.

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