Disney is ready to stick a fork in Han Solo‘s recent production woes.
After parting ways with Phil Lord and Chris Miller due to creative differences, the Mouse House quickly drafted in Ron Howard to take the reins on its second Star Wars Anthology pic. A May 2018 release date remains intact, and Entertainment Weekly recently relayed an official statement from Lucasfilm head Kathleen Kennedy, in which the franchise veteran revealed that filming is expected to resume on July 10th.
That lends the Oscar-winning Howard two-and-a-half weeks to suss out the finer details, which will include meeting with the film’s ensemble cast – namely Alden Ehrenreich (Solo), Donald Glover (Lando Calrissian), Woody Harrelson (?), and Game of Thrones star Emilia Clarke (?) – to identify what still needs to be done before the Han Solo spinoff can begin its journey toward post-production.
Speaking of that cast, we’re now hearing from Star Wars News Net that some of the actors took issue with Lord and Miller. In particular, Ehrenreich. According to the website’s report, he wasn’t pleased with the “screwball comedy angle” they were going for and voiced his concerns to the producers.
“He started to worry that Lord & Miller’s screwball comedy angle was starting to interfere with what the character of Han Solo is really about, even if this was a younger, more reckless take on the character than the one we met in that Cantina on Tatooine,” says SWNN’s report. “One source described it as being oddly comparable to Jim Carrey’s performance in Ace Ventura at times. Ehrenreich let his concerns be known to one of the producers, who then told Kennedy about it, which led to her decision to look over the existing footage.”
Yikes! Sounds like Lord and Miller had a drastically different vision for the titular character than what Lucasfilm was no doubt gunning for, and to be honest, that Ace Ventura comparison is certainly worrying to hear. But that’s not all, as SWNN goes on to detail some more of the behind the scenes drama.
“The reason people close to the project have described it positively was that they saw several isolated scenes. However, when an assembly cut actually started to come together, that was where the issues presented themselves in earnest, and this is where Kennedy and Kasdan, as well as the other people reporting to them, started to get deeply concerned.
The Weekly Planet Podcast mentioned that there were concerns with performances and action setpieces, but from the sound of things it seems to be more along the lines that Lucasfilm really wants to get an edit that’s more faithful to Kasdan’s script. (Have I mentioned that they really, really like Ehrenreich’s take on Han? Because they do!) There was something of a “zany” tone to more scenes than they would have liked, in part due to some of the improv, and I get the feeling that fans might take more of an issue with this than they would have if the film had been left unfixed.”
So, the question now becomes can Ron Howard come in and right the wrongs and get things back on track? Probably, but he’s definitely got his work cut out for him, it seems. And with that May 25th, 2018 release date still locked in, he’ll have to work fast to fix things up.
Though fans are understandably worried, it’s important to remember that Lucasfilm has pulled through these kinds of production troubles before. Remember what happened last summer with Rogue One? And look how that turned out. Granted, this situation sounds a bit messier, but who knows? We obviously don’t have the full story just yet and until we get some footage, we’ll continue to remain optimistic that Han Solo will be another thrilling spinoff for the franchise, one that’ll be able to move past its troubled production.