Just like Rogue One before it, Solo: A Star Wars Story endured a trying spell in front of the cameras.
But whereas Lucasfilm called upon the help of Tony Gilroy to overhaul the third act of its gritty, pulse-pounding anthology pic back in 2016, the additional photography on Solo allegedly involved Ron Howard shooting “exactly the same script” as Phil Lord and Chris Miller, who were fired from the project last summer just as filming was nearing the final stages.
Citing a source familiar with the situation, Vulture brings word of Solo‘s “chaotic” production under Lord and Miller, who supposedly shot “more than 30 takes” of a given scene in order to encourage a sense of improvisational comedy – hardly surprising, given their past credits include Sony’s Jump Street series.
Phil and Chris are good directors, but they weren’t prepared for Star Wars. After the 25th take, the actors are looking at each other like, ‘This is getting weird.’ [Lord and Miller] seemed a bit out of control. They definitely felt the pressure; with one of these movies, there are so many people on top of you all the time. The first assistant director was really experienced and had to step in to help them direct a lot of scenes.
So it wasn’t the content; Lucasfilm simply grew increasingly concerned about the execution, eventually leading to the moment when Ron Howard came on board in place of Phil Lord and Chris Miller to effectively steady the ship. Efficiency was paramount, and by all accounts, it seems Howard delivered, given that Solo‘s May 2018 release date was completely unaffected by the loss of Lord and Miller.
And yes, if Vulture’s report is to be believed, it would seem Lucasfilm stuck to its guns and allowed Ron Howard to film the same material that was originally earmarked for his predecessors:
It’s exactly the same script. They’re filming exactly the same things. There’s nothing new. [Lord and Miller] used whole sets. But Ron is just using parts from those sets. I guess they’re not shooting wide angle. Maybe to save money.
For the record, Joy Fehily, a spokesperson for Miller and Lord categorically denies these allegations, noting that “this information is completely inaccurate,” so take from that what you will.
The real question, of course, is whether Solo: A Star Wars Story can channel the spirit of Rogue One and become a box office hit in two months’ time. One thing’s for sure: Phil Lord and Chris Miller will only be credited as executive producers.