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

Phil Lord, Chris MillerStar Wars Celebration
Nils Jorgensen/REX/Shutterstock

Phil Lord and Chris Miller’s reputation for writing irreverent, poppy films such as “21 Jump Street” and “The Lego Movie” helped the white-hot writing and directing duo land one of the most coveted gigs in Hollywood — a chance to call the shots on a “Star Wars” film.

But their chance to put their stamp on a galaxy far, far away collapsed on Tuesday with the stunning announcement that the pair would be departing the still untitled Han Solo spin-off movie in the midst of production. Their exit comes after months of conflict with producer Kathleen Kennedy, others from her LucasFilm team, and co-writer and executive producer Lawrence Kasdan, and the two directors hired to infuse the “Star Wars” universe with a tongue-in-cheek sensibility.

Miller and Lord were stunned to find that they were not being granted freedom to run the production in the manner that they were accustomed to. They balked at Kennedy’s tight control on the set.


‘Star Wars’: Lucasfilm Chief Previews ‘Rogue One’ and Han Solo Spinoff

A person with knowledge of the production said that the chemistry between the directors and Kennedy was never right.

“It was a culture clash from day one,” the source said. “She didn’t even like the way they folded their socks.”

The source said that while Lord and Miller were supposedly hired for their vision and distinctive brand of filmmaking when it came to the “Star Wars” production, Kennedy did not approve of their shooting style and process of interacting with actors and crew. “They weren’t given the leeway to do what they had to do,” the source said.

The duo also clashed with Kasdan, who has been an integral creative part of several “Star Wars” movies, dating back the the 1980 “The Empire Strikes Back.” Like Kennedy, he questioned many of the pair’s directing choices.

“Kathy, her team and Larry Kasdan have been doing it their way for a very long time. They know how the cheese is made and that’s how they want it made,” said the source. “It became a very polarizing set.”

In statements accompanying news of the directing shakeup, both Kennedy and Lord and Miller alluded to differing visions for the project.

“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,” said Lord and Miller in a statement.

Kennedy promised a new director would be announced shortly. Sources say Ron Howard is in talks to take over the film, but there is no deal as yet.

Ron Howard declined to discuss the prospect of his taking over the movie in a conference call with reporters Wednesday to unveil plans for the second season of his National Geographic TV series “Genius.”

It is unclear if and how Lord and Miller will be credited on the movie. Hollywood insiders said their forced departure in the middle of filming was a highly unusual situation.

Kennedy said in a statement, “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.”

The directors did not leave the production voluntarily, but were fired by LucasFilm. The decision comes as the Han Solo film still has several weeks left to shoot, according to another individual with knowledge of the production. An additional several weeks of reshoots have been planned to take place later this summer.

It’s not clear who will take over directing duties from Lord and Miller. Tony Gilroy (“Michael Clayton”) oversaw some of the reshoots for “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.” However, he will not be directing the Han Solo film, according to his spokesperson.

Kennedy had her own ideas about how the film should be shot. In an interview with Variety last year, she said she wanted the film to have “…a heist or Western type feel,” adding, “We’ve talked about [Frederic] Remington and those primary colors that are used in his paintings defining the look and feel of the film.”

Some insiders believe that while Kennedy wants to make a splash by hiring young indie directors such as Gareth Edwards (“Rogue One: A Star Wars Story”) and Rian Johnson (“Star Wars: The Last Jedi”), she’s ultimately unwilling to empower them to make their own creative decisions.

Unlike Edwards and Johnson, Miller and Lord felt they had earned their stripes, having worked extensively in the major studio system.

The Han Solo film will focus on the Millennium Falcon pilot’s early days as a smuggler. The film stars Alden Ehrenreich in the role Harrison Ford made famous. The cast includes Donald Glover, Thandie Newton, Woody Harrelson, Michael K. Williams, and Emilia Clarke.

A spokesperson for Disney declined comment, other than to say that the Han Solo standalone remains slated for a May 25, 2018, release date. Lord and Miller’s reps also declined comment.

Ricardo Lopez contributed to this article. 

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  1. commentorSW123 says:

    C’mon folks. Kennedy making the decision – ok room for speculation on why. KASDAN clashing with these two goofballs, the guy who’s been with SW since Empire? Now that tells the whole story doesn’t it. Who knows SW better than Kasdan. Nuff said. All the information is out there. No need for opinions when you have the facts.

  2. loco73 says:

    Good bye and good riddance…

    • loco73 says:

      Now that these two overhyped, pretentious wankers are out…please get rid of the walking dead that is Colin Trevorow!!!!

      • Danny P says:

        The only person who should have been fired was Kathleen Kennedy. Those guys were just trying to make the movie they wanted to make. Kennedy was the producer, it was her responsibility to get the right movie made. She hired them. Now Disney have lost millions. The word is that they are having to reshoot 80% of the movie. They had almost finished filming the entire movie. Disney must be furious with her. How could she mess up this big & keep her job.

      • Nassau says:

        You have serious issues…. go outside and find a girlfriend you freak!

  3. Brian Fitzgerald says:

    I’ve never been a fan of origin stories for established main characters and I’m sure that the end result, be it helmed by Ron Howard or whomever, will provide the same results – it’s going to be a major disappointment. There are only one or two ways to make it great and a million ways to screw it up (see X-Men Origins: Wolverine). What can anyone reasonably expect when you try to cram a well-known and beloved character’s back story in 2 hours? This production was a mistake from the start.

  4. Andy Davis says:

    This all falls on Kathy Kennedy. She made the mistake of hiring Gareth for Rogue One..and then having to replace him with Tony Gilroy. Now these two being fired. Colin Teverrow on the horizon for the next one…at one point does she get the appropriate blame in hiring the wrong people to direct these films?

  5. Hayters says:

    If you are a young, smart, talented director, then you will never work with Kathleen Kennedy. Why? Because you are not a moron who wants to throw your career away because of a fake corporate lackey like Kennedy.

  6. Jack Monte says:

    Wow the guys that did the bland Lego movie can’t do action? Not surprised. And Rogue One was a garbage.

  7. manfromatlan says:

    Pity. Rogue One was such a shift with a fresh look but now I guess it’s back to generic Star Wars franchise pap. Ron Howard should deliver on that.

  8. Fred says:

    This article seems a tad biased. The sources are likely people who are on Lord and Miller’s side. But I digress.

    At the end of the day, all I want is a good, enjoyable movie. I don’t care about all of the drama behind the scenes.

  9. Rex the Wonder Dog says:

    I think cheese is an apt description of what Star Wars has turned into.

  10. Brett says:

    Going off of Kennedy’s reference points… the best directors for this gig would be:

    James Mangold (Logan and 3:10 to Yuma)
    George Miller (Mad Max: Fury Road)
    John Hillcoat (The Road and The Proposition)

    James Mangold would be my pick.

    • Dante says:

      Reading about the Fury Road production, I think Kennedy would hate working with Miller. He barely had a complete script while working on Fury Road. I think he has an improvisational style similar to Phil Lord and Chris Miller. That doesn’t fly with the Disney money printing machine.

      • cas127 says:

        “somewhere between Willow and The Grinch”

        The Wince.

      • Jacen says:

        Well, he had a complex set of detailed storyboards, so while he didn’t necessarily have a traditional script, something was there. George Miller could conceivably make an awesome movie if the script is already there and he’s allowed time to properly visualize it. But there’s not enough time, and all this is moot because…

        Opie-Yawn Howard is the official director. Since Star Wars is a space opera and lands somewhere between straight science fiction and straight fantasy, and taking Yawn’s filmography into account, then we could be looking at a result somewhere between Willow and The Grinch (dismal fantasies both) and Cocoon (good sci-fi) and Apollo 13 (good science drama).

        Well, at least the performances will be strong. He’s always been an actor’s director…

      • luvbrothel says:

        A George Miller Star Wars movie would be something, someone who understands how to make ‘over the top’ work.

  11. Geo says:

    This happens far too often… and the result is often underwhelming. Kennedy and Kasdan both are powerful, but pretty much are relics. It is time for Hollywood to evolve, yet like the studio days, those who have profited from the old ways are reluctant to try new tricks.

  12. Duh says:

    Like they never saw any of Disney’s marvel movies or the last 2 star wars, they use a formula for EVERY “installment” they make, because it’s not a film, it’s an episode in a Disney channel TV show that just happens to have a 300m budget

  13. Powlo says:

    Another problem: Baby Driver. It is a young Han Solo film in all but name, done very well.

    • Wat says:

      I think you may be right. The wunderkind driver even wears a black vest! Swap out the Subaru for the Falcon and you’re set.

  14. A few points overlooked by the commenters, thus far, but facts of life in the real world (and not “reel” world) of Hollywood show business:

    First, the studio’s marketing department decides the outcome of a film production; this department is God.

    Secondly, the cost–or budget–begins in the hundreds of millions; and, then, more of the same for advertising and distribution. Where does these ungodly sums come from? Investors (film financiers) who are looking for a return on their investment. What they’re not looking for are excuses. NOTE: Think of it as taking a loan from the mob.

    Lastly, playing it safe enough to guarantee a return on the investment is wise. Of course, greed plays a role in this scenario.

    Finally, and obviously–given the above–it’s not about a StarWars “universe” or creativity (sans originality) but all about M-O-N-E-Y.

    The one thing filmmaking can be is mysterious. No one knows, except insiders, why Kathleen Kennedy fired the two directors who were knee-deep in principal photography for the Hans Solo project. What we do know is…Barbara Broccoli:

    Broccoli is the very successful producer of the James Bond franchise: “DIE ANOTHER DAY” had proven itself the most successful Bond film, at the time, in its nearly 50 year-old franchise history with Pierce Brosnan as 007–when she unexpectedly recast the role with Daniel Craig. Pierce more surprised than anyone…but a pretty bold move that paid off.

    Of course, this happened long before “CASINO ROYALE” had gone into production. But did Barbara Broccoli’s decision have the support of MGM and Sony Pictures? One would imagine. Had the risk been calculated by their marketing department? No doubt.

    And what about the investors? High-stakes filmmaking is ultimately a grand casino where you lay down your bet and hope for the best.

    So, why is Kathleen Kennedy gambling (like Barbara Broccoli) with an ENORMOUS amount of money stake?

    Like many of the commenters, here…we would only be guessing.

  15. Michael says:

    Complete BS. Thank you KK for ruining Star Wars. You hire talent and choose to micromanage them. Sounds like power-centric management that has been around forever. Not very progressive of you is it? Disney, pleased follow Marvel’s successful management style an fire this control freak.

    • To be fair, since the Disney takeover, a LOT of Marvel directors were extremely alienated by studio control/interference. Joss Whedon, Jon Favreau, but most notably Edgar Wright, who dedicated years to Ant Man.

      Hopefully they’ve dialed back these shenanigans and learned to trust these proven directors, but it’s ugly and predictably shortsighted wherever you see it.

  16. DFilm says:

    Dissapointing to see fresh young talent usurped by the old guard – but perhaps it’s more about matching the “Remington primary colors western” to the theme parks and global merchandise for the baby boomers and their grandkids.

  17. briang123 says:

    Frankly, I’ll bet that the toxic masculinity on display in a movie about Han Solo is simply not welcome these days. Moviegoers want strong female leads, not women as mere objects of men. The damage of the Trump era is even more extensive that we ever imagined.

    • nerdrage says:

      Sounds like Lord & Miller wanted to make a jokey cartoony Han Solo movie. Kathleen Kennedy is the one insisting Han be masculine. What’s more masculine than the Western hero?

    • You do know who the movie is about, right? Do you even Star Wars, bro? Moviegoers DO NOT WANT a strong female lead in a movie about Han Solo! The whole character screams what you call “toxic masculinity.” To portray it otherwise is to spit in the face of the people that created the character and the original storyline to begin with! There are very specific traits that the character had IN PLACE when we first met him. No point in making the movie in the first place if they’re not there.

      Maybe this was not the best project for Kathleen Kennedy to take on if she doesn’t get that.

      • Scribe says:

        Explain to me how Han’s chemistry with Leia would have worked if she was a simp? Strong female lead does not necessarily mean eclipsing Han in the film. It can mean a well developed female character, something Lord and Millar have not shown they can do. Why is it, the instant someone says strong female lead, the gut reaction is some view that the female is going to be superior to the lead character?

        Han is my original crush, as far as I’m concerned, he’s perfect in characterisation and appeal and Kasdan wrote the most layered version of him of all the films. Am I going to trust Kasdan over the guys who made the Lego movie (as fun as it was) and 21 Jump Street (which was mildly amusing) with Han Solo, no goddamn way. KK would be extremely aware of how beloved Han is and how much negativity is already attached to his being recast, she’d want to ensure the version of him that hits the screen is as close to the original we loved as possible and that’s not gambling with auteur approaches to the character.

  18. Weary says:

    This little saga is much more entertaining than the movie can ever hope to be. Don’t get on the wrong side of Mr. Mouse.

  19. jsrepository says:

    In other words, they were looking for Yes Men and accidentally hired independent thinkers.

  20. jim says:

    I always thought it was odd these guys making a star wars film. It would be like a comedy for teens. well thats how i see there work. Gota hand it to lucasfilm this is going to cost a fortune. but hey they must have been very unhappy with what they were seeing. Starwars is not really an ad-lib kinda movie.

  21. StanleySpielberg says:

    Sounds like some of the producers I worked with: they hire you because they love the fact you bring a different perspective and new ideas, but they hate the fact you have a different perspective and new ideas. Trust the people you hire or don’t hire them, but with the amount of money involved, that becomes a very tricky problem.

  22. Jeff says:

    Everything Disney creates today is tainted, if Nightmare before Christmas 2 is the same I will be done with them for good. I can’t even watch Marvel movies anymore due to how leftist it has swung since being bought by Disney.

    • Fred says:

      They are not making a sequel to The Nightmare Before Christmas. You used the Internet to post a comment, next time try using the Internet to do some research *before* you comment.

    • Cass says:

      LMAO!! There are people out here like this you guys! lololol

      • Jacen says:

        Seriously. If this clown read the Marvel books of the ’70s, ’80s, or ’90s, he would be shocked at the “leftist” text and subtext. Unless he didn’t notice it because it was something he was already familiar with and thus part of his DNA, whereas the new stuff is “new” and “different” and therefore “furren” and “leftist.” Then again, he might be someone slightly to the right of Adolf Hitler, which thus makes late period Ronald Reagan a leftist by comparison. Who can tell.

  23. Victoria Alexander says:

    Please no Ron Howard. He has Hollywood coin but has last film devalued Chris Helmsworth. Does he have the youthful energy needed? Has he ever made a film where you felt any sexual energy on the screen? If Han Solo does not have sexual charisma, it will never match the Harrison Ford effect. Look at Sam Taylor-Johnson’s Nowhere Boy and choose her. She got a teenage husband out of it by crafting the kid’s screen image.

    • Mark Kendrix says:

      Are you insane? You’d rather not have Ron Howard, but an absolutely terrible film-maker like Sam Taylor Johnson? Nothing in her garbage tier resume says she’ll do a remotely good job with a Star Wars-based film.

      And btw, In The Heart of the Sea was actually a good film, there wasn’t any need for ”sexual tension” (don’t know why it’s even brought up) but the feeling of hopelessness within the crew was displayed remarkably well.

    • paully says:

      Not Ron Howard..

    • jedijones77 says:

      A teen-age husband? So we have more Hollywood sickos endorsing underage sex?

  24. Irwin "Nugent, Ted Nugent" Fletcher says:

    I am pulling for Kennedy. I do not mind any Identity Politics thrown into the casting, directing, or writing of the Disney movies if the finished product has good story.

    However from an objective standpoint, The Force Awakens and Rogue One are fan films level quality too them. Even the title “The Force Awakens” is fan film tier.

    I am one with the Force.
    The Force is with me.

  25. HiHat says:

    Even though the last two Star Wars films made a boatload of money, they were way off the mark for many longtime fans. I’m not holding my breath for this Han Solo film or anything else the Maus Haus cranks out from here on in…

  26. When this movie generates hundreds of millions of dollars these 2 directors will be near suicidal for quitting.

  27. gkn says:

    This sounds like it was written by their agent.

  28. Cass says:

    They wanted to get too goofy I’m sure. I don’t have a problem with them gone.

  29. Rick says:

    Do people even relate to thandie newton.
    Needs a popular female.

    • Arthur T Chambers says:

      Two words… Westworld. No wait, that’s only one word

    • Cry moar says:

      Hey, Rick… “people” includes more than just “white people.” Sorry you feel that calling you out on this is “disrespectful.”

    • jeff winger says:

      emilia clarke is in it, is that white enough for you?

    • Rick says:

      Another pair of disrespectful people.
      They weren’t hired for writing, just directing.
      And to clash enough to be fired is
      really low class, self indulgent little

  30. FIn says:

    She probably wanted to inject yet another female co-lead into the story that didn’t belong this time. I am all for up front great female roles. But she is starting to saturate the notion. Her touting she has an all female executive team all the time is also a bit sexist in it’s nature. She is an awesome producer, her resume speaks louder than many others. Yes I am female btw, that owns my own business. I am all for girl power, but relax sister.

  31. Lily says:

    Well, that was unexpected.

    Rogue One still turned out great despite the rumours of pre-production troubles and a director/studio clash, but this is in a different league altogether. We’ve all seen directors get sick of studio interference – look at Joss Whedon with Age of Ultron, he couldn’t be bothered to hide how sick he was of Marvel while he was doing press – but Lord and Miller being removed from this project is several levels up from that. I hope the Han Solo movie turns out all right, but things don’t look promising.

    (and to everyone whining about Kathleen Kennedy and the post-Disney Star Wars – you expect us to believe that George Lucas could have done better? He of the godawful prequels? Seriously?)

    • Irwin "Nugent, Ted Nugent" Fletcher says:

      The idea that that The Force Awakens (A New Hope recycled) and Rogue One were superior than the Prequels is debatable.

      The Force Awakens had Mark, Carrie, and Harrison on screen again for the first time in 30 years. That load has been blown.

      Rogue One was padded with Vader scenes to attract audiences. It was a bit much to sit through 1hr and 50 minutes of “I am one with the Force and the Force was with me” just to see someone dressed up as Vader mow down redshirts at the end.

  32. Leon Alvarado says:

    What matters to most in the end is to have a movie will hold itself well as time passes. Like her or not, Kathleen Kennedy is one of the best producers in Hollywood and you bet she knows well how to create hits. Her name is attached to some of the biggest blockbusters like the Indiana Jones films, the Jurassic Park films and the latest Star Wars. as an executive producer she had a hand in the Back To The Future Films. She has worked extensively with Steven Spielberg producing many of his hits like E.T., Poltergeist, A.I. Artificial Intelligence, War Of The Worlds and many more. If I were a move director I would love to work for her even knowing that she overseas her projects very tightly. Restrictive? Maybe but with her track record I would most definitely trust her judgement over almost anyone else’s in the matter. The fact that I find more distressing than the firing of the directors was the hiring of them to being with. I really liked the Llego movie and could have cared less for the 21 Jump St. movies but their style of filming never seemed to match the content of a Star Wars film. I would love to see Ron Howard complete the film. He would do a great job at it but the question would still be, how would he get along with Miss Kennedy? He usually works with Brian Gazer as his producer but many of his movies do have that Spielberg-like quality that is prevalent on the films Kathleen Kennedy has worked on. Joss Whedon would also be a good choice in my mind. His film Serenity, (based on his Firefly tv show) had more of a Star Wars feel than any of the three prequels that George Lucas did. Both came out around that time. but the Lucas films were obviously intended to attract a new audience and seemed to have neglected the original’s saga lovers. Whedon’s film on the other hand seemed to embrace them and pull newer audiences as well. In short, I am not surprised by the firing. I just want a good Han Solo movie, one that keeps the Star Wars canon firing great stories form the franchise’s universe.

    • StanleySpielberg says:

      Just because someone is great at turning out nice safe hamburgers doesn’t it he or she is the greatest chef ever. It just means someone is good at making safe bets and doesn’t dare to gamble. Letting them lead the Han Solo movie would have been a great shot in the arm and make the SW universe accessible for people who want to have some fun as well as lightsaber buzzin stuff. We will see, but sounds like the movie is going to be another well made safe bet.

  33. Coronado II says:

    A franchise movie has to balance the director’s “vision” with what’s been “established” in previous installments. I don’t think you’d give a Star Wars movie to Tim Burton, David Lynch, or Quentin Tarantino. If you did, you would end up with a Burton, Lynch, or Tarantino movie – not a Star Wars movie. On the other hand, most directors wouldn’t want their hands tied by the choices past directors have made, or by studio and fan expectations. The right director shouldn’t be enslaved by “the canon” OR too eager to put his or her personal stamp on the production. Balance…

    The tone, style, and humor of movies like 21 Jump Street and The Lego Movie don’t seem like a good fit for a Star Wars flick. Maybe the directors brought to much of that to the Han Solo project. But if that’s not what the studio wanted, then they shouldn’t have hired Lord and Miller.

    Well, as a Star Wars fan all I can say is I hope the movie gets finished and doesn’t suck. Best of luck to all involved.

  34. Leon says:

    The force awaken was a PC generic chick flick! This one had potential with those directors. Now its going to be another PC chick flick. I hate Disney and I hate Hollywood. Star wars is ruined. Also this women first attitude in hollywood is killing genre movies and destroying the fan base. .

  35. ManOfBronze says:

    welcome to the restrictive world of the MCU and Disney.

    • Cry moar says:

      Waaaaaah all the gurls are getting their icky gurl cooties all over my precious bodily fluids, uh, I mean boy movies!!!

    • Leon Alvarado says:

      Hollywood brought you the first Star Wars and Disney practically gave the franchise a new life. Now if you think The Force Awakens and Rogue One are weaker than the prequels that George Lucas made, then by all means stay away from future releases. I think the franchise got a lot stronger once Disney and Kathleen Kennedy came into the fold. I’m sure I’m not the only one who thinks this way. As far as the fan base being destroyed, far from it.

      • Mike says:

        Definitely stronger…and relevant again.

        Sad this happened though. Everything those 2 directors touch turns to gold. Was looking forward to their take.

    • Coronado II says:

      Sounds a bit like movie making back in the old days. Disney is a Studio. You might be a hot shot writer, director, or actor, but you are an employee of the Studio and the Studio calls the shots. Definitely not a comfortable situation for auteurs who want maximum creative control. I wonder if this approach will be viable in the long run.

    • Jacques Strappe says:

      Agreed. The unanimous global critical acclaim, record smashing box office receipts, consistent movie fan ratings of “A” for nearly everything Disney touches, is a horrible way to run a movie business. Such bad business!

  36. FemiNazi Kathleen Kennedy should have been kicked to the curb after that awful, over hyped Star Wars Crapfest, The Force Awakens.
    What complete derivative sewage that was.
    Star Wars isn’t “Star Wars” anymore.
    Not to mention this Han Solo movie just looks horrible.

    • libserum says:

      Yep, I never appreciated George Lucas so much as after seeing the result of his not being there. He said it himself, they wanted “retro” (read – rehash), not new, innovative, unexpected as each of his SW films had.

  37. Adrian Abramovici says:

    Reason is “the way the movie is shot”. I think I can relate to what Mrs. Kennedy refers to as the Frederic Remington style. This is exactly the way the original trilogy was shot: a lot of light (from back of camera), with bright colors. Look at some Frederic Remington paintings and you will see Luke and Han wondering about….

  38. GlennC says:

    They never ever should have been hired in the first place for this kind of film. They are great at writing and durecting films that have a very sharp wit/sense of humor to them. Sharp funny dialogue. But that’s not a Star Wars film. Especially one about Hans Solo. It’s Kennedy’s fault too of making a bad choice call on these two guys. She just went after them because of their A list namss. To also not allow takevted Directors to have their vision too is not right. Might as well hire some robots!

  39. Too bad they can’t give specifics as to what L&M wanted to do, plus wasn’t there an approved script before production even started? It’s a bizarre situation.

  40. Curmudgeon10 says:

    On GA06, Hollywood Lays Another Egg

  41. Wilson Chambers says:

    Star Wars has a style guide. I have a feeling the fallout is a lot less complex and acrimonious than people think, like — the studio expected Indiana Jones but were starting to get Three Amigos.

    • Wat says:

      Or they expected Harrison Ford and know they’ll never get that ever again.

    • JustSaying says:

      Or they wanted the same old thing as indicated in the article.

      • Wilson Chambers says:

        Or maybe there’s a reasonable medium between “Lord & Miller are buffoons” and “Disney is horrible and evil,” and the footage just didn’t feel like Star Wars and TPTB couldn’t reconcile.

  42. Were the bosses afraid it wouldn’t be awful like every other Star Wars movie?

  43. ThisIsWhoIAm says:

    Something feels off to me about this article. Rian Johnson just gave an interview where he talks about how much creative freedom he enjoyed on this project (he actually asked for MORE help from the story group), and everyone says he is doing something “different” and “weird.” It doesn’t sound like Kennedy was choking him with oversight.

    Also, that line about small indie directors? Rian was a veteran of bigger films, including Looper, and Edwards worked on Godzilla for Christ’s sake.

    Word was, Kennedy had seen some dailies and was unhappy about wooden acting from some of the cast, plus the quality of some of the action sequences. Seems like Lord or Miller (or a close friend of theirs) ran to Variety to give an anonymous statement – this whole piece is based on one anonymous source. Kinda fishy, if you ask me, and just what I would expect someone who was just fired to say about the “jerks” who fired them.

    • jedijones77 says:

      It’s megalomaniacal overreach. If a man had done it, they’d say he was a power-mad dictator and despot. What harm does it do if the Han Solo film isn’t perfect? No one had any expectations for it anyway. And it has no impact on a larger trilogy.

    • JustSaying says:

      Rian is playing good soldier. And the idea of TJL being weird is it will have several flashbacks. Other then that its TESB Part Deux just like TFA was essentially a reboot of ANH.

    • L Silver says:

      Rian’s just giving the standard BS line that every director working on a protect gives so as not to upset the studio. Wouldn’t put much stock in whatever PR spiel he has to give out.

  44. Charles says:

    You put a couple of amateurs behind the camera and this is what happens. Sorry, but their track record is awful. Complete smaltz.

    • Matthew says:

      Awful? Really? It’s okay to not like their work but um I wouldn’t say their track record is awful. Why don’t you go and check their critical acclaim and the box office of their films I would say that’s anything but awful. Just because you don’t like their work doesn’t mean their track record is awful. It just means you don’t like their work and that fine no need to come up with some misfound argument about their track record.

  45. Bowtothesystemslave says:

    Cuck wars!

  46. IT--//--IT says:

    TIME to find the EX- –ITs
    ———————– – – from this –gone on too long ! —
    —————————————————– – – INTEL RUN
    —————————————————————– – – Hollywood franchise slum.

  47. Crabbieappleton says:

    This article focuses a lot on Kennedy, but Kasdan wrote the script, and I suspect he’s the one who who didn’t like the direction they were taking, deviating away from what he had in mind.

    Kasdan gave us Empire, so I’d actually trust him to give us a film that did justice to his character.

    • me says:

      The thing is Kasdan didn’t really write the ESB script. The first version by Brackett just didn’t turn out right and it didn’t mesh well with ANH at all. So Lucas jumped in and he actually wrote the entire first draft of the screenplay that became ESB as we know it. Kasdan then came on to help him polish it up. But the main screenplay and story were actually all written by Lucas. He just took no credit since he wanted to honor Brackett and give Kasdan tons of thanks for coming on last second. You can even find the first draft that Lucas totally wrote himself and see how similar it is, even lots of key lines of dialogue are exact same as in the movie.

    • I used to give Kasdan a lot more credit for Empire than I do now. The more I’ve read about the film, the more I credit the fact that Lucas and Kershner served as a hard stop on Kasdan’s pretty bleak worldview (see what Kasdan wanted to do with ROTJ). I think Kershner and on-script set rewrites with the actors have probably gotten too little credit over the years, and Kasdan way too much credit.

    • JustSaying says:

      He also gave us TFA which was a reboot of ANH.

      • jedijones77 says:

        With both TFA and Rogue One, the new Lucasfilm is stuck on nihilism with heroes dying left and right. The Dark Knight isn’t trending anymore. People want exactly the kind of humor and light touch that Lord and Miller would’ve delivered. The DCEU just made the switch with Wonder Woman and are reaping huge grosses for it.

  48. Kathleen Kenedy should’ve been fired instead. The new films were all UNINSPIRED while at the very least, Lucas tried to do something new with the disappointing prequels.

    One day, people will get sick of Marvel superhero formula and reharshed Star Wars movies and that’s when these franchises will come to a tragic end.

    • xyz321xyz says:

      I do hope the whole dark, depressing, grungy grim 90s/00s stuff is one the way out and we are back to a more fun 80s style of things, and Wonder Woman was a start, at least she acted like a hero and not some hipster, grungy, anti-hero like the new Super Man and all the rest (that said I was actually fine with Rogue One and it sort of did make sense what happened, not like any of them showed up in the next film which just started like a couple hours later or so).

      That said, some reports, and of course they could easily be false, claim that the two directors were not so much going in the Wonder Woman and what you talk about direction, which would be fine but supposedly some scenes had Han Solo acting nearly like Jim Carrey in Ace Ventura! And that they kept switching more and more scenes to Ace Ventura style. If true, then that does seem a bit much and not where it needed to go at all either.

  49. Grayzip says:

    If Rogue One had ended with its leads perishing on the beach after completing their mission it might have ascended to something like art. Instead it received a tacked on ending where audiences are meant to cheer for Darth Vader as he slaughters the very grunts the film has just humanized, culminating in a dead eyed CG Carrie Fisher delivering a corny last line. It succeeded despite its changes not because of them, and I. The process taught Lucasfilm Disney the wrong lessons. Of course they felt empowered to fire Lord and Miller after that. Maybe they’ll even get away with it again this time, but then what? No good director will touch the franchise now because they have two case studies of what happens to artists there. Instead we’ll get hacks like Gilroy. Who won’t have reels of good film to work with this time. Too bad. Star Wars always comes so close to being great but it can never stick the landing

    • xyz321xyz says:

      The ending was amazing and it was not part of the tacked on stuff either.
      And it was totally in character going even to the days when all there was was the first film Star Wars. It was said that wild rumors spread around the Rebel grunts of some nightmare sorcerer who had done impossible and unspeakable things, some were said to fear the tales and others to not believe them, something along those lines and this scene could certainly help explain some of that.

  50. BillUSA says:

    I don’t think there exists a very good, critically-acclaimed and popular film to have come from the ashes of a mid-production change of Director(s).

    On the other hand, there hasn’t been a good film in this particular franchise since “The Empire Strikes Back”. Which is unfortunate because Solo was my favorite character.

    • HeftyJo says:

      Wonder Woman had a director change early on.

    • kfilm says:

      Spartacus? I think that was a pretty early firing though. (also 50+ years ago)

    • Jonathan says:

      There are a lot of idiots on this comment thread. I get many people who think of themselves as film snobs like to bash anything popular, but Star Wars has always been in great hands and the results speak for themselves. Eight times out and 8 great movies that all crushed at the box office and all got between overall favorable reviews and great reviews. The first two Disney movies have been incredible successes and incredible movies. I trust Kennedy and LFL more than a gun for hire. As a DGA member myself of course I’m curious what’s the inside scoop, but ultimately the franchise is too important and too pristine to let any one person have their own vision and just do whatever they want unless that person is George Lucas. And seeing as they’re not, they either get on board or leave. They are gone for good reason, I’m sure.

      • kylo ronng says:

        “But people agree with me!” is not evidence. Marketing a movie so heavily it feels like an event and closing down the opposition at key moments (just ask Tarantino) is what helps you “crush” at the BO. I hope I live long enough for the re-views of these latest nostalgia-fests, that are no different to (and less exciting than) walking through a wax museum.

      • jedijones77 says:

        The defenders of these garbage Kathleen Kennedy Star Wars films always sound like such brainwashed cheerleading cultists. They just post vacuous statements of empty, boilerplate praise and don’t express a single critical or analytical thought. They seem like pod people or bots. They are a very strange bunch.

      • What brand of synthetic heroin were you injecting when you watched any of the prequels, PARTICULARLY Attack of the Clones which was mind-numbingly awful. Absolutely excruciating, particularly Portman’s and Christensen’s wooden acting. But that was the least of its problems. Wake up and smell the critical disdain, dude. That is, if you can remove your Darth Vader fleshlight long enough to think with your other head.

      • Kenshata says:

        You’re sad.

      • BillUSA says:

        Why is it that when someone says they didn’t like a particular film, there’s always another who says “Well, it crushed the box office”?

        The numbers don’t reflect the impression of every film-goer. If it were possible to get everyone’s honest, post-viewing opinion of a movie they just paid to see, do you really think all of them will be positive?

        I still say not one of the post-Empire films were good. They had their good points and great production values. That was until Disney came along and joined the dark side of contemporary film-making by making “The Force Awakens” a snooze-fest, and “Rogue One” slightly less depressing than “Melancholia”. Neither were worth the money to rent them. Nor worthy a second look within the duration of the rental window.

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