Han Solo’s Star Wars Story has run into a massive, massive snag. Almost a full four months into shooting the origin story of everybody’s favorite galactic smuggler, directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller have stepped away from the film. Per Starwars.com, the filmmakers released a statement explaining their decision:
Unfortunately, our vision and process weren’t aligned with our partners on this project. 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’s announcement confirms that, despite the change, the film is still expected to be released on May 25, 2018. President of Lucasfilm Kathleen Kennedy also released a statement to reassure anxious fans:
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.
Before Lord and Miller were attached to the film, there had been rumors about others such as Jon Favreau, Joss Whedon and Matthew Vaughn being contacted to direct. But since Lord and Miller were announced back in 2015, all three of those directors have gone on to other projects, and it doesn’t seem likely that they’d be readily available to hop onto a troubled set. There have been no indications as to where Lucasfilm may be looking, though you better believe they’re frantically considering all options.
This is obviously a huge blow for the film. Losing directors that far into the filming process isn’t easy to overcome, and Lucasfilm will be forced to determine whether to scrap existing footage and attempt a reshoot, or try and match a new director’s vision to what’s already been filmed. It hasn’t been announced whether production will be suspended, but it’s hard to imagine anybody stepping in quickly enough to keep everything rolling. When Zack Snyder stepped down from the forthcoming Justice League movie, fill-in director Joss Whedon didn’t have that much more to shoot. This is a whole other beast entirely.
Thankfully, this isn’t Kennedy’s first rodeo. The long-time producer has consistently churned out excellent, high-grossing films for decades. If anybody can salvage this project, it’s her.
Revisit the Han Solo stand-alone’s first cast photo here, and imagine what might have been if not for “creative differences.”