With ‘Solo: A Star Wars Story’ a little less than 2 months from premiering in theaters, a lot of folks were wondering what credits the original directors of the film, Phil Lord and Chris Miller, would be taking on the final product. For anyone who somehow does not remember, last summer, with only about 3 weeks left in official production, there was a very public removal of Lord and Miller as directors of the young Han Solo movie, over what everyone called “creative differences,” which resulted in Ron Howard being brought in to finish the film, and from the looks of things, also do extensive re-shoots. So the question became, who would officially get directing credit?
Luckily, it seems like Lord and Miller answered that question already, and in their style, in the most amicable way possible without hurting the film. According to Variety, while appearing at the GLAS Animation Festival in Berkeley, California, this past Friday, Lord and Miller announced officially that they chose to receive Executive Producer credits on the film. In their words:
“We were really proud of the many contributions we made to that film. In light of the creative differences, we elected to take an executive producer credit.”
Of course, the general tone of the message was not that surprising, as even when they were first dismissed from the project both Lord and Miller tried to see things rationally and did not just bad-mouth Lucasfilm to the press:
“The experience of shooting the movie was wonderful. We had the most incredible cast and crew and collaborators. I think in terms of us leaving the project, I think everybody went in with really good intentions and our approach to making the movie was different than theirs. That was a really big gap to bridge, and it proved to be too big.”
Which is why it was also nice that even Kathleen Kennedy was relatively diplomatic when discussing the initial reasons for removing Lord and Miller from directing duties:
“I think these guys are hilarious, but they come from a background of animation and sketch comedy and when you are making these movies you can do that and there’s plenty of room for improvisation, we do that all the time, but it has to be inside of a highly structured process or you can’t get the work done and you can’t move the armies of people to anticipate and have things ready. So, it literally came down to process. Just getting it done… These are really great guys and you know, nobody wanted this to happen. It was just one of those unfortunate things.”
Still, for anyone wondering whether Ron Howard came in to tweak a few things or actually seriously rework and reshoot much of the movie, this is a very clear sign. Lord and Miller taking executive producer credits means that they are all too aware of the amount of work Howard has put in. The fact that the film truly is his own at this point, will make ‘Solo’ something interesting as the creative vision behind the film has clearly been completely changed.
What are your thoughts on Lord and Miller taking Executive Producing credits? Were you still holding out hope that the film would still retain much of their work? Or are you excited that the vision seems to be squarely Howard’s now? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below!