Around the Star Wars Galaxy: News & Notes

Star Wars: A collection of detritus from the galactic dustbin...
A collection of detritus from the galactic dustbin…

Reaction from the Star Wars Standalone Set

The latest post from The Hollywood Reporter points to a developing storyline in the land of Lucasfilm. That storyline that indicates that President Kathleen Kennedy and Executive Producer/Screenwriter Lawrence Kasdan were not alone in their frustrations with the style of Phil Lord and Chris Miller.

In a piece entitled “Star Wars Firing Reveals a Disturbance in the Franchise,” Kim Masters wrote of the Han Solo standalone’s change in leadership:

…applause came at the end of the meeting in which the departure of Lord and Miller was announced and they were informed a new director would be arriving. These sources say the mood at the meeting was somber but there was applause “in support of the movie.”

This was a late update to the saga within the saga. Earlier versions previously indicated applause had broken out when Lucasfilm announced Ron Howard as director. The above amended that detail. However, one thing seems obvious (despite clarifications about the impetus of applause). The hiring of Academy Award-winner Ron Howard indicates a want by LFL to put the Han Solo film back on course.

And that course will take a more conventional approach.

The Boiling Point

Of the final straw on the Lord and Master-backed version of young Han Solo, THR reported:

The Original Crew (Star Wars Standalone)
The Original Crew

Matters had already reached a boiling point in mid-June when Phil Lord and Chris Miller, co-directors of the still-untitled young Han Solo movie, were in the cockpit of the Millennium Falcon but didn’t start shooting until 1 p.m. That day the two used only three different setups — that is, three variations on camera placement — as opposed to the 12 to 15 that Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy had expected, according to sources with knowledge of the situation. Not only was the going slow, but the few angles that had been shot did not provide a wealth of options to use in editing the movie.

According to Masters’ source, the Millennium Falcon shoot only cemented thoughts from around the company that Lord and Miller were not “decisive” in their role as co-directors.

This led, Masters wrote, to a situation where “[p]roduction department heads began to complain. While the pair appeared to listen when told of festering problems, this person says their approach did not change.”

Improvisational Takes (a toll)

The co-directors’ approach to Han Solo–as portrayed by Alden Ehrenreich–led to shots straight out of Kasdan’s script. Then the pair filmed several more improvisational takes for each scene. Keep in mind, Ehrenreich’s name popped up in some media reports as another member of the crew left perplexed by his directors.

Alden Ehrenrich
Alden Ehrenreich

All of those takes then made their way back to Lucasfilm, where Kennedy and Co. first sought to support the directors, even going as far to hire an acting coach for Ehrenreich late in the filming.

However, none of the Lucasfilm work to mitigate the situation (a situation seemingly caused by a wish to hire less conventional filmmakers for the standalone films) worked.

Finally, trying to supplant Lord and Miller with Kasdan failed. There would be no arrangement similar to the work Tony Gilroy did on Gareth Edwards’ Rogue One. Citing “zero creative freedom” as well as “scheduling constraints,” Lord and Miller pushed back. They found themselves pushed out.

The story continues to amaze even the most hardened Hollywood observer. And the details figure to provide plenty more copy. Especially since neither Lucasfilm, nor Lord and Miller, are talking… yet.

Stay tuned…

ICYMI

Larry’s in London – On Saturday, June 24th, Jason Ward, MSW’s editor-in-chief, posted a photo of Lucasfilm’s Lawrence Kasdan arriving at Heathrow Airport, presumably to return to work on the Han Solo standalone film.

Bob Won’t Say – Also on Saturday, our own Amanda Ward blogged, pointing a TMZ interview with Disney CEO Bob Iger regarding Ron Howard taking over the untitled Han Solo standalone film.

Steele’s ShowListen in to hear fascinating Han Solo insight from Troops creator Kevin Rubio, Scott Mendelson of Forbes, Alex Backes of “Black Series Rebels” and listener calls (recorded 6.24.17).

And finally, here’s a pic from Mr. Ward, from yesterday’s live “Steele Wars” podcast at the Nerdmelt Showroom at Meltdown Comics. The show featured Jenny Nicholson of Screen Junkies and Chris Gore of Film Threat.

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John Bishop

A graduate of Boston and Northeastern universities, John Bishop became the beat reporter for BostonBruins.com prior to the B’s 2006-07 hockey season. While with the Bruins, “Bish” traveled North America and Europe to cover the Black & Gold’s every move via laptop, blog, and smart phone. The co-author of two books, Bygone Boston and Full 60 to History: The Inside Story of the 2011 Stanley Cup Champion Boston Bruins, John covered the XXI Olympic Winter Games in Vancouver in 2010 and the B’s 2011 championship run and banner raising before taking a faculty/communications position at a prep school outside Boston in 2013. He lives with his wife Andrea and sons Jack, Scott, and Luke in central Massachusetts.

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