Until we see the movie, the biggest story surrounding Solo: A Star Wars Story remains the mid-production director change. Ron Howard replaced Phil Lord and Chris Miller less than a year ago—but despite having almost no time to prepare and a very tight deadline, the movie is about 70 percent Howard’s work.
This is according to The Wall Street Journal, which ran a very detailed article about Solo’s bumpy road. To briefly recap, Lord and Miller were hired to direct Solo in July 2015. They started production in late January 2017, but Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy and Solo co-writer Lawrence Kasdan were not happy with the pair’s slow, improvisational, comedic style. They worked through mid-to-late June 2017, at which time they were fired. Howard was brought in and picked up filming almost immediately. He shot from late June 2017 through mid-October 2017, and the film’s completion.
The assumption was, with so little time until the May 2018 release, Howard would use as much of Lord and Miller’s footage as possible. And now, it turns out that he only used roughly 30 percent, according to this report. He not only shot the scenes that needed to get completed, but reshot a lot of the previous scenes, in a much more “Star Wars-y” way.
“Ron wanted to go back to the spirit of the original trilogy, while Phil and Chris were looking forward to something new, more like Guardians of the Galaxy,” a source told the WSJ. According to the report, Lord and Miller were recently shown an early cut of Howard’s version of the film and subsequently didn’t fight for director credit. They retain executive producer credit while Howard gets full directing credit.
We contacted Disney for clarification on these numbers but haven’t heard back as of publication.
Once the movie is out, though, none of this will matter. There were similar production problems on Rogue One, but once the film was released, the results spoke for themselves. That film, and now Solo, provide solid evidence the only thing that matters to the people behind the scenes is the final product.
Solo: A Star Wars Story opens May 25.