Original ‘Solo’ directors reflect on their departure from the ‘Star Wars’ spinoff

Solo: A Star Wars Story

One of the recurring themes to have defined the Disney era of Star Wars so far has been the alarmingly high number of filmmakers to have signed on for a project set in a galaxy far, far away, who ultimately ended up departing in short order.

It’s a list that includes Josh Trank, Colin Trevorrow, Game of Thrones showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss, perhaps even Patty Jenkins given the uncertainty surrounding Rogue Squadron, but most famously Phil Lord and Christopher Miller.

The brains behind a string of acclaimed live-action and animated comedies got further than the rest of the aforementioned names, though, with just three weeks left of the original shooting schedule on Anthology spinoff Solo when they were given their marching orders, which saw Ron Howard step in to bring the notorious box office bomb over the finish line.

During an appearance on the Happy Sad Confused podcast, Lord and Miller reflected on their brief association with the iconic sci-fi franchise, but at least it doesn’t sound like there are any sour grapes on their part.

“We’ve always wanted to make projects that are, like Han, a maverick, and so that’s what we were always trying to do, that’s what we were hoping to do with those movies. It was funny, about [the original] Star Wars, it’s an independent film made outside the Hollywood system. And Han is the spirit of that kind of independence and that’s why we were always inspired to work on that with everybody.

The good news is, they can’t take away what you learned. We learned so much. We got to work with the greatest people, we made so many friends. We, what we call in animation, put ‘pencil miles’ under our belts and it made us better filmmakers in the long run. So, in a funny way, there’s obviously a lot of negative emotions associated with that, but the way I feel about it now, like I feel about all these projects, which is you’re just trying to become better and learn and collaborate with people and that doesn’t go away.”

A Lord and Miller Star Wars blockbuster was a hugely exciting prospect until the wheels came off, but at least we’ve got the two-part Into the Spider-Verse epic coming this year and next, even if it’s been a long time since the pair took the reins on a live-action project.