×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Han Solo Firing: Will Ron Howard Share Directing Credit With Lord & Miller?

If the Han Solo spinoff is the kind of blockbuster that most box office sages predict it will be, a lot of people will be taking credit for its success.

It’s not clear, however, who officially will get the nod for bringing the Star Wars smuggler’s early days to the big screen, particularly after the abrupt firing of Phil Lord and Chris Miller late in the shooting necessitated an 11th hour change of directors. On Thursday, Lucasfilm announced that Ron Howard will replace the duo, but how credit will be meted out is still being discussed.

The Directors Guild of America, which has the ultimate authority, has refused to comment on Lord and Miller’s surprise firings. Several sources said the credits issue is unlikely to be resolved for several months and that the union is taking a methodical approach to resolving how the different filmmakers’ contributions will be acknowledged.

Lord and Miller were dismissed due to creative differences in the fourth month of production after clashing with producer and Lucasfilm chief Kathleen Kennedy and co-writer/executive producer Lawrence Kasdan. Howard, who’s a DGA national board member, was announced as the replacement on Thursday morning. Production will resume on July 10 and the untitled movie is still due to be released on May 25, 2018.

It’s not the first time that directors have been dismissed while in production. Curtis Hanson, for example, had to step down as the director of “Chasing Mavericks” due to health issues. He ultimately shared a directing credit with Michael Apted, the filmmaker brought in to finish the project.

However, the high profile nature of the Han Solo spinoff and the fact that production is relatively far along are complicating factors, making this uncharted territory for the DGA to navigate. Sources have told Variety that the current scenario is very rare and is unlikely to be settled soon since the movie requires re-shoots this summer and extensive work in post-production due to special effects.

Disney-Lucasfilm, Howard, Lord and Miller have also not commented on the issue of who will get the directing credit. Studio sources say they will defer to the guild’s rules.

The specific language in the DGA’s basic agreement with production companies spells out that in a situation with multiple directors, the production company will make a determination of who will be credited and then notify the directors. At that point, any of the notified directors can appeal to the DGA.

“The Guild may then determine the issue,” the provision says.

The provision also says that if DGA fails to reach a decision, the employer shall make the determination and that decision will be final. The language does not specify when a production company needs to make its notification of the directors other than prior to the release of the film.

The DGA’s rules also preclude replacing the director with someone else already employed on the movie. That prevented Disney-Lucasfilm from naming Lawrence Kasdan as the new director despite his extensive experience in the director’s chair. That rule dates back to the firing of Philip Kaufman from 1976’s “The Outlaw Josey Wales.” In that case, Clint Eastwood, the star of the film, took over behind-the-camera duties, inciting an uproar.

The DGA has a “one director” rule but that provision covers established directing teams such as Lord and Miller, who also received the directing credit on “The Lego Movie,” “21 Jump Street” and “22 Jump Street.”

More Film

  • Mindy Kaling (L) and Director Nisha

    Women Directors and Writers Make Gains in Independent Films But Lag on Parity

    Women directors, writers, editors and producers are making inroads, reaching historic highs in the world of independent films — while still lagging in reaching parity with men, a new study shows. The latest Indie Women study, released Tuesday, found that women achieved record-setting levels as directors (33% in 2018-19, up from 29% in 2017-18), writers [...]

  • David Shin

    Disney Shuffles Management in Hong Kong, Australia

    Disney has reshuffled its management in Hong Kong, Taiwan and Australasia following the March completion of its 21st Century Fox takeover. In Hong Kong and New Zealand, Fox executives have been elevated. In Australia and New Zealand, Disney’s management is staying on. David Shin has been appointed VP and GM of The Walt Disney Company [...]

  • SHANGHAI, CHINA - JUNE 17: Liu

    Shanghai: Chinese Movies Dominate AACTA Asian Film Award Nominations

    Chinese sci-fi hit “The Wandering Earth,” China’s Cannes competition film “Wild Goose Lake,” and Korea’s Palme d’Or-winning “Parasite” are among the nominees for the AACTA Award for best Asian film. The nominees were announced on the margins of the Shanghai International Film Festival. The winners will be announced Dec. 4 at the Australian Academy of [...]

  • Jenni Rivera Biopic

    Authorized Jenni Rivera Biopic in the Works

    An authorized biopic of the late singer Jenni Rivera is in the works, seven years after she died in a plane crash at the age of 43. The life rights deal was announced Tuesday with an agreement between Jenni Rivera Enterprises and producers Javier Chapa and Simon Wise of Mucho Mas Media and Donald De [...]

  • Judi Dench

    ‘Blithe Spirit’ With Judi Dench, Dan Stevens, Isla Fisher Scores International Sales

    Filming has started on “Blithe Spirit,” an adaptation of Noel Coward’s classic comedy about love that just won’t die. Judi Dench, Isla Fisher and Dan Stevens are among the cast in the picture, which is helmed by Edward Hall (“Downton Abbey”). Protagonist has closed a raft of pre-sales on the project, which was previously adapted [...]

  • Edward Cheng, Tencent Pictures CEO

    Tencent Pictures' Lineup Is a Mix of Hollywood Content and Chinese Propaganda

    A slate of Chinese propaganda films rubs shoulders with high-profile Hollywood movies on Tencent Pictures’ upcoming lineup.  The firm confirmed its investment in U.S. projects including TriStar Pictures’ “A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood,” a film about beloved TV host Mr. Rogers, starring Tom Hanks; “Monster Hunter,” Paul W.S. Anderson’s next film adaptation of a [...]

  • Night scenery of the Bund in

    Shanghai: Festivals Grapple With How to Stay Relevant in the Digital Era

    Festival organizers from around the world Tuesday discussed the challenges of remaining relevant in a digital era at a Shanghai International Film Festival forum. The Festival do Rio’s executive director, Ilda Santiago, noted that online platforms are now an unavoidable part of the film business and creative process, and that “of course not all of [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content