Solo: A Star Wars Movie

Kathleen Kennedy Explains Why Lord and Miller Were Fired from Solo: A Star Wars Story

"It literally came down to process."

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We were all pretty shocked when we heard that Phil Lord and Chris Miller had been fired from directing Solo: A Star Wars Story, after they were already three-quarters of the way through principal photography. At the time, The Hollywood Reporter chalked their departure up to creative differences between Lord and Miller and the screenwriter, Lawrence Kasdan. The Hollywood Reporter‘s sources said that Lord and Miller’s “comedic sensibility and improvisational style” conflicted with Kasdan’s emphasis on “strict adherence to the written word,” and that their interpretation of Hans Solo had been too comedic.

Now, Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy is offering her own version of events. Entertainment Weekly writes that when “asked directly about it now,” Kennedy said, “I think these guys [Lord and Miller] 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.”

“There comes a point where there’s only so much you can do,” she said, “and then you have to take a different course and that’s where we ended up … These are really great guys and you know, nobody wanted this to happen. It was just one of those unfortunate things.”

“I just say over and over again that, yes, it was an incredibly difficult decision that we had to make,” she said, “and obviously it was pretty late in the game, which shows we spent a lot of time trying not to have to make that decision. And I think both Chris and Phil are enormously talented and incredibly funny. When all of this came together, all of us wanted nothing more than to have this be an incredible working experience. And when it was not working out as we had all hoped, it wasn’t out of lack of talent.”

I’m curious to see how the tone of Solo: A Star Wars Story eventually turns out, given how comic Lord and Miller seemed to want to take it. That suggests there was at least some wiggle room in the script for it, but given Kasdan’s anger at their process, perhaps it’s more of a straightforward action-adventure flick. That’s what the trailer seemed to suggest to me.

Either way, we’ll know soon enough. Now directed by Ron Howard, Solo: A Star Wars Story arrives in theaters on May 25, 2018.

(Via Entertainment Weekly; image: Lucasfilm / Walt Disney Studios)

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