Phil Lord & Chris Miller's Han Solo Movie Would've Been Too Different, And That's The Problem

What was cool about Phil Lord and Chris Miller agreeing to direct Lucasfilm's Han Solo movie was how different they were from any other Star Wars filmmakers. It promised fans a film that might have a bit more humor and definitely would be more self-aware, because that is what they did so well on 21 Jump Street and The Lego Movie. So what's wrong with that?

Well, what's wrong with it is that Lucasfilm didn't want it, at least that's the takeaway from this piece from EW documenting some of the issues that led to the duo's firing. And basically it boils down to this: Lord and Miller were making a movie that Lucasfilm found to be more comedy than space opera. Worse, they allowed too much improvisation on the script, which annoyed president Kathleen Kennedy and co-writer Lawrence Kasdan. Well, that's what happens when your cast is made up of actors good at going off the cuff. Here are excerpts from EW's story...

Apparently, the split was a subtle one that became magnified over time: Lucasfilm and producer Kennedy believed Lord and Miller were hired to add a comedic touch; Lord and Miller believed they were hired to make a comedy...

It wasn’t just a question of tone. The variations added up to significantly change the story. They may have been brought aboard to give young Han Solo a wiseacre vibe and an irreverent style, but Lucasfilm still felt the directors had a responsibility to tell the story as written.

When dailies began rolling in featuring improvisation from the actors and new ideas from the directors that significantly parted ways with the script, the relationship with the home office at Lucasfilm became fraught. As principal photography for the movie approached its end, it became clear that the filmmakers and producers did not share the same vision for some critical scenes.

Reshoots were always possible (they are factored into almost every major film these days, and each new Star Wars project has undergone them), but as Lord and Miller dug in, refusing to compromise on what they saw as best for the film, the partnership went from strained to fractured. If they wouldn’t do the scenes as Lucasfilm and Kennedy wanted them now, why would they do them that way during reshoots?

And so now there's Ron Howard, who won't cause a fuss and will do as Lucasfilm wants. He will make a perfectly fine Star Wars movie. He just won't make a different Star Wars movie, and that is a little disappointing.