×

‘Solo: A Star Wars Story’: Phil Lord and Chris Miller Reveal Their Credit

While speaking at the third annual GLAS Animation Festival Friday in Berkeley, Calif., Phil Lord and Chris Miller revealed the credit they elected to take on “Solo: A Star Wars Story” after their shocking mid-production exit as directors of the movie last year.

The directors, who also helmed “The Lego Movie” and “21 Jump Street,” said they’re taking an executive producer credit on the “Star Wars” spinoff.

“We were really proud of the many contributions we made to that film,” Miller told the audience. “In light of the creative differences, we elected to take an executive producer credit.”

Ron Howard took the helm of directing the film once Lord and Miller left the project. The duo added that they wished everyone working on the film the best.

Miller and Lord used their GLAS panel Friday to retell their career from meeting in high school to their latest projects. Starting with their very first animated show “Clone High,” a lot of their early work involved learning by doing. “We were scared to death,” Lord recalled. “We did a lot of things wrong, but it was a crash course.”

The same process of hands-on learning repeated itself on “Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs,” their first animated feature. “We didn’t understand feature animation culture,” said Miller, but added that working on the movie told them not only about the inner workings of a studio, but also the importance of actually telling a story with an emotional arc. “They forced us to work on the script in a much more thoughtful way,” he said about their work with Sony Pictures. “What we really learned was that movies are actually about relationships.”

When the duo began working on their first live-action feature with “21 Jump Street,” they had to once again learn the craft all over again. “Every step of the way, we were just pretending that we knew what we were doing,” joked Miller. This led to a much more collaborative approach. “Our job as directors was to be the stewards of the tone and the story,” he said.

At the same time, the duo confessed to being very critical about their own work until the very last minute. “If you fall in love with this stuff, then you can be kind of blind to its faults,” Miller said. Ultimately, making good movies was just a constant churn, and not about being a genius, said Lord, adding jokingly: “You don’t have to have Jedi dust in your veins.”

“Solo,” which opens May 25, is a standalone film set before the events of the original 1977 “Star Wars” and stars Alden Ehrenreich, Woody Harrelson, Emilia Clarke, and Donald Glover.

Lord and Miller’s departure in the midst of production shocked Hollywood last summer. Their exit was announced after months of reported conflict between them and producer Kathleen Kennedy, others from her LucasFilm team, and co-writer and executive producer Lawrence Kasdan.

“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 at the time.

Kennedy said in her 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.”

POPULAR VIDEO ON VARIETY

More Film

  • Maternal-Hogar-Sister-Paola-and-Nina-sleeping

    Locarno: Charades Acquires Competition Contender ‘Maternal’ (EXCLUSIVE)

    Having seen large success with Cannes Critics’ Week and Annecy Cristal winner “I Lost My Body,” Paris-based Charades has confirmed its acquisition of international sales rights to “Maternal” (“Hogar”), written and directed by Italy’s Maura Delpero. The awaited fiction feature debut of Delpero, a documentary filmmaker whose won a Donatello Award nomination for dock-feature “Nadja [...]

  • BAFTA Backs BIFA’s Unconscious-Bias Training for

    BIFA’s Unconscious-Bias Training Rolls Out to BAFTA Voters, Wider Industry (EXCLUSIVE)

    The British Independent Film Awards is opening up its unconscious-bias training to BAFTA voters and, more widely, to anyone who judges the work of others in the film and TV business in the U.K. With the makeup of award-nominee and -winner lists under close scrutiny, BIFA introduced its unconscious-bias training last year. Its voters, jurors, [...]

  • Instinct

    Carice van Houten's 'Instinct' Picked Up By Films Boutique (EXCLUSIVE)

    Berlin-based international sales agent Films Boutique has picked up psychological thriller “Instinct,” starring Carice van Houten, who received an Emmy nomination Tuesday for “Game of Thrones,” and Marwan Kenzari, recently seen in Guy Ritchie’s “Aladdin.” “Instinct” has its world premiere on the Piazza Grande at the Locarno Film Festival next month. “Instinct,” the directorial debut [...]

  • New U.K. Film and TV Studio

    New U.K. Film and TV Studio Proposed for Leeds, in Northern England

    With studio space in high demand, a sizable new film and TV complex has been proposed for Leeds, the city in northern England that is fast becoming a major U.K. media hub outside of London. It has already been selected as the base for Channel 4’s new national headquarters, and companies such as pay-TV giant [...]

  • If Only - Ginevra Elkann

    Locarno Announces Edgy Mix of Premieres, Joseph Gordon-Levitt Thriller '7500'

    Italian director Ginevra Elkann’s directorial debut, “If Only,” about kids with divorced parents, will open the 72nd Locarno Film Festival, its first edition under new artistic director Lili Hinstin, who has assembled an edgy mix of promising titles from young auteurs and more established names. “If Only” and the fest closer, iconic Japanese director Kiyoshi [...]

  • Jody Madden Replaces Craig Rodgerson as

    Jody Madden Replaces Craig Rodgerson as CEO of VFX Firm Foundry

    Jody Madden has been upped to CEO at U.K.-based VFX outfit Foundry. She steps up fromchief product officer and replaces Craig Rodgerson, who joined the company in late 2017. Foundry was bought by U.S. tech firm Roper Technologies earlier this year in a £410 million ($509 million) deal. The London-based business provides software and technology [...]

  • The Lion King

    ‘The Lion King’ Tops Studios’ TV Ad Spending

    In this week’s edition of the Variety Movie Commercial Tracker, powered by the always-on TV ad measurement and attribution company iSpot.tv, Walt Disney Pictures claims the top spot in spending with “The Lion King.” Ads placed for the remake had an estimated media value of $5.64 million through Sunday for 1,290 national ad airings on [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content