It has been a few years since Solo: A Star Wars Story hit theaters, but the one thing fans probably remember most about the film, was the drama behind the scenes. The original director Christopher Miller and Phil Lord shot 90 days for the production, but were suddenly and without reason removed from the film. They were quickly replaced by Ron Howard.
Rumors about their removal included clashes with Kathleen Kennedy to the pair realizing “that they were not being granted freedom to run the production in the manner that they were accustomed to.” All of this however can now be put to rest; possibly…
The duo spoke to The Playlist recently about their time on the film as well as their dismissal.
“Well, there are two sides to every story,” said Chris Miller. “And every success that is public, there are many things that don’t come to light and many disappointments. At the end of the day, you’re always in film school. You’re always learning and trying to become a better filmmaker.”
Miller’s attitude about the experience is striking considering the way it hit Star Wars fandom. Most fans considered it yet another negative notch in the belt of the current regime running our favorite franchise.
“So, as negative as the ending was, and as deeply misunderstood as we felt, the lasting memory is of the great collaboration we had,” he continued. “We shot, 90 days on that movie, you can’t take the experience away from us, you can’t take away the pencil miles from us—a term we use in animation—and we had a very fruitful, creative time with all the departments and with one another and we became better filmmakers for it. At the end of the day, in a funny way, it isn’t a debacle. It’s actually just on the continuum of learning and becoming a great filmmaker.”
“And we met such amazing, talented crew that we still work with, and love and are in touch with to this day,” Lord added. “So, ultimately, it was a positive experience that had a hard-to-get-through chapter, but luckily we had many other things to jump into and funnel all of that creativity and things that we had learned into those things.”
Everything was not all rosey though. The duo did have a few negative things to say about their time with the production and the film that everyone ultimately got to experience in theaters.
“If you’re giving the audience exactly what they expect and a bunch of ‘fan service,’ they’re going to end up disappointed. They’re gonna be like, ‘Yeah, this is stuff I already knew,’” Lord said. “The trick is to figure out what it is they don’t quite yet realize that they want and every idea that you add into the stew is something that you’re like, ‘Oh, that would be a cool thing to see that I haven’t seen before and isn’t the thing that’s expected because I think people are really savvy now and so you have to stay two steps ahead of them and I feel like that’s our job.”
“You can’t play scared,” Miller added. “So, I don’t really relate to some fear of a fanbase. We don’t think about it that way. There are people out there, I suppose, that are trying to game the marketplace and follow a formula. They’re trying to serve the quarterly earnings of a big company, but a company doesn’t make a movie or write a song, these things are made by human beings, and we’re always trying to serve the human beings making the movie and the human beings witnessing the movie, always remembering, what you’re putting out there, that’s only half of it. The other half is, there’s a person in a movie theater and you’re beaming sound and light into their face and they make the movie in their brain. So you have to understand that as a relationship and a conversation, put yourselves into the shoes of that person.”
About Solo: A Star Wars Story:
A Star Wars Story: Solo: A Star Wars Story, or simply Solo, is a 2018 American space western film based on Star Wars character Han Solo. Directed by Ron Howard and produced by Lucasfilm, it is the second Star Wars anthology film following Rogue One (2016). Alden Ehrenreich stars as Han Solo alongside Woody Harrelson, Emilia Clarke, Donald Glover, Thandie Newton, Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Joonas Suotamo, and Paul Bettany. The plot takes place approximately ten years prior to the events of A New Hope, and explores the early adventures of Han Solo and Chewbacca, who join a heist within the criminal underworld and meet a young Lando Calrissian.