Last June, Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy announced that co-directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller were being taken off of Solo: A Star Wars Story, which, at that point, was at least three-quarters of the way done shooting. Then, as rumors of on-set disagreements and production snafus began circulating, it was announced that Ron Howard would be taking the helm of the beleaguered film. A last minute change of this magnitude on such a high-budget production is almost unheard of, which is why fans have spent the better part of a year speculating that Solo might really be a piece of junk. This week, Vulture got an interview with an anonymous source that all but confirms fans’ worst fears.
“Phil and Chris are good directors, but they weren’t prepared for Star Wars,” said Vulture’s unnamed source, who reportedly acted in the film under the direction of Lord and Miller as well as Ron Howard. Take what they say with a grain of salt; it’s a single report and it’s anonymous, but most of their comments match up neatly with external impressions. “After the 25th take, the actors are looking at each other like, ‘This is getting weird.’” While efficiency on set may not matter much to the casual moviegoer, it certainly matters a lot to the people footing the bill, i.e. Disney. Vulture’s source claims that things were quite different with veteran director Ron Howard on set, saying, “When he came on, he took control and you could feel it… He’s really confident.”
So Ron Howard got the production moving. But to what end? Which movie were they actually making? Was it Lord and Miller’s or was it some new creation from the mind of Ron Howard? Well, according to the source, it was “exactly the same script.” Apparently, Howard was brought in to do mostly scene-for-scene reshoots of things Lord and Miller had already done. Of course, we know for a fact that some story changes occurred, including the excision of Michael K. Williams’ character, but a lot of what was being done was reportedly fixing past mistakes.
In addition to the director drama, the source confirmed what everyone has been hearing about lead actor Alden Ehrenreich—namely, that he’s having trouble acting. However, it sounds like a little assistance from an on-set acting coach has helped Ehrenreich become a bit more relaxed and more accurately mimic Ford’s performance from the original trilogy.
As for the most important question— whether Solo will actually be a good movie —Vulture’s source is admittedly unsure. While Howard’s presence on set may have raised the confidence of the performers, it’s impossible to tell if the finished product will be worth a damn until the premiere. Last month’s perfunctory trailer certainly didn’t give much indication one way or the other. Until May 25, all we can do is fret, speculate, and hope.
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