When it was announced that Disney had bought Lucasfilm and was reviving STAR WARS, two things were made apparent: some of the movies would continue the narrative of the previous pictures, while others would be prequels or standalone efforts. Furthermore, the latter would have a different tone, providing a look at the STAR WARS universe that was possibly darker than the fan friendly fare that had dominated to this point.
However, whether it is creative fear or the enormity of the franchise, Lucasfilm seems bound and determined to make all of these new STAR WARS films pretty much the same. The extensive reshoots on ROGUE ONE took what was apparently a deeply troubled project and turned it into one that both audiences and critics liked. However, it did so at the expense of Gareth Edwards, the movie’s initial director, who was replaced at the helm by Tony Gilroy.
Now, the issue has started all over again with word that writer/directors Phil Lord and Christopher Miller have been fired four months into shooting on the still-untitled Han Solo movie starring Alden Ehrenreich. Best known for their work on the 21 JUMP STREET movies and THE LEGO MOVIE, Lord & Miller are a hot commodity in the business and seemed like a good choice to bring an irreverent tone to the series.
However, there were apparently clashes between the two and STAR WARS veterans Kathleen Kennedy and Lawrence Kasdan right from the start of shooting in February. The picture recently took a break from production so that the pair of producers could go over what had been shot thus far. On Monday, they announced that Lord & Miller were being removed from the project.
This raises the question of why these mega-franchises recruit hot young directors and then don’t let them do the sort of thing that brought them notice. Helmers reportedly under consideration to finish the movie include veteran middle-of-the-road types Ron Howard and Joe Johnston, neither of whom are likely to take the movie in a direction the suits don’t want.