The untitled Star Wars stand-alone movie about a young Han Solo has lost directors Phil Lord and Christopher Miller, Lucasfilm and Disney announced. The studios still plan on releasing the film in May 2018, despite the sudden change.
“Phil Lord and Christopher Miller are talented filmmakers who have assembled an incredible cast and crew, but it’s become clear that we had different creative visions on this film, and we’ve decided to part ways. A new director will be announced soon,” Kathleen Kennedy, president of Lucasfilm, said in a statement.
“Unfortunately, our vision and process weren’t aligned with our partners on this project,” Miller and Lord, who are best known for directing The LEGO Movie and the 21 Jump Street movies, added. “We normally aren’t fans of the phrase ‘creative differences’ but for once this cliché is true. We are really proud of the amazing and world-class work of our cast and crew.”
Lucasfilm didn’t announce who will take over the film, but it’s notable that two other directors wrote it. Lawrence Kasdan and his son, Jon Kasdan, have both directed films. The elder Kasdan helmed The Big Chill, Wyatt Earp and Silverado. The younger Kasdan directed the teen comedy The First Time. Deadline suggests that Ron Howard of all people is in the running to take the directing role.
The young Han Solo movie is supposed to be released on May 25, 2018 and is already in production. Lucasfilm announced that filming started in February in London.
Alden Ehrenreich is playing a younger version of the smuggler Harrison Ford played in the original trilogy and Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Donald Glover is playing a young Lando Calrissian. Woody Harrelson and Emilia Clarke will be playing new characters who help Han and Chewbacca become the characters we all know and love. It’s set before the events of A New Hope.
The next Star Wars movie will be The Last Jedi, which hits theaters on December 15. It’s the next part in the sequel trilogy that The Force Awakens launched in 2015. The third film in the sequel trilogy will hit theaters in 2019.
Miller and Lord’s departure comes at a difficult time for the Star Wars series, which should be celebrating the upcoming release of The Least Jedi and the smashing box office success of the first stand-alone movie, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. That film, which was set just before A New Hope, grossed $1.05 billion worldwide.
But there have been some bumps lately. First, there’s the critical drubbing Star Wars: Episode IX director Colin Treverrow’s latest film, The Book Of Henry received. That film was slapped with a 25 percent rating from critics on Rotten Tomatoes, causing some to wonder if Treverrow is right for Star Wars. Next, it’s notable that Disney has no new Star Wars movies planned beyond 2019. When the studio announced a slate of release dates earlier this year, there was nothing about more Star Wars. Of course, the company still has Star Wars Land opening in 2019 at Disney World and Disneyland, so Disney isn’t leaving the franchise behind any time soon.
The Han Solo movie is also the second stand-alone Star Wars movie to lose a director. While the exact project that Josh Trank was supposed to direct was never officially announced, it was rumored that he was supposed to direct a Boba Fett movie. Trank was fired a short time after his Fantastic Four movie bombed for 20th Century Fox. In addition, writer/director Tony Gilroy was brought in during the re-shoot and editing process for Rogue One to help director Gareth Edwards.
As for why Miller and Lord left the project, the specifics are not known, but there have been rumors from Variety and other Hollywood trades that the two were fired over clashing with Kennedy. The duo have turned so much they’ve touched into gold, from the animated hits Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs and The LEGO Movie to the live-action, raunchy 21 Jump Street movies. They’re also prolific TV producers, working on Fox’s The Last Man on Earth and the short-lived shows Making History and Son of Zorn.