The fallout from Chris Miller and Phil Lord’s shocking exit from the Han Solo film a week ago continues, with more and more details about the rift emerging day by day. One new report even claims that Lucasfilm weren’t just unhappy with Miller and Lord’s approach: they were concerned about the performance they were getting from star Alden Ehrenreich.
Speaking to sources close to both the production of the movie and the ousted directors Miller and Lord, the Hollywood Reporter alleges multiple situations indicative of a deep, growing difference between the duo and Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy. From a slow pace during filming to a lack of extra takes to use in the editing process, both Kennedy and Solo co-scriptwriter/producer Lawrence Kasdan began expressing concerns about the direction Miller and Lord were pushing the second Star Wars anthology film. Likewise, sources speaking to THR claim Miller and Lord were beginning to feel like encroaching pressure from Kennedy and Kasdan was stifling their creative freedom during the production process.
In an attempt to change things up when filming moved from London to the Canary Islands in May this year, Lucasfilm not only replaced the editor of the film, Chris Dickens, with longtime Ridley Scott collaborator Pietro Scalia—they also asked Miller and Lord to bring on an acting coach (as THR notes, while it’s not unusual for acting coaches to be hired, it’s unprecedented for a film so late in production) for star Alden Ehrenreich, after registering dissatisfaction with the performance Miller and Lord were getting out of the man tasked with stepping into Harrison Ford’s leather boots.
When Kennedy requested Kasdan head to the set after these shakeups didn’t lead to the changes they were looking for, Miller and Lord pushed back at his presence—said to be similar to Tony Gilroy’s late-game involvement in completing Rogue One after its own production troubles—and a day later, Kennedy made the decision to fire the directors. Alarmingly, one source speaking to THR claims that upon the announcement to the crew that Ron Howard would step in to take over the film a day after Miller and Lord’s firing, applause broke out (Though that sentiment has since been changed. See the update below). But while Miller and Lord are now off the film, sources claim that Howard is very willing to use much of the footage they shot to help complete the movie.
We’ve reached out to Lucasfilm for a response to the allegations in the report—which you can read in its entirety at the link below—and while we’ve yet to hear back at the time of publication, we’ll update this story when and if they respond.
Update: Since being published, the original THR story clarified the reported applause was not directly tied to Howard as originally reported. The update says “the applause came at the end of the meeting in which the departure of Lord and Miller was announced and they were informed a new director would be arriving. These sources say the mood at the meeting was somber but there was applause ‘in support of the movie.’”