solo reshoots

Solo: A Star Wars Story shook up the Star Wars universe when original directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller were fired from the project due to creative differences. The directors were quickly replaced with old school pro Ron Howard. Now, after months of behind-the-scenes rumors and concerns, Solo is just about ready to hit theaters. Ahead of the film’s release, a source inside the production has revealed several new pieces of info about the troubled film.

Just what the heck happened behind-the-scenes of Solo: A Star Wars Story? Disney and Lucasfilm drummed up considerable excitement when they hired Lego Movie helmers Phil Lord and Chris Miller to direct the Star Wars spin-off film. But months into production, Lord and Miller were fired after allegedly clashing with Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy. Disney and Lucasfilm then brought in Ron Howard – not just to complete the film, but to also handle extensive reshoots.

Now, Solo is finished and close to hitting theaters. The film’s trailer looks promising, and there’s a sense that Ron Howard may have actually pulled this off. Still, an air of confusion surrounds the production. Just what happened behind-the-scenes, and how much of the finished film is Howard’s, and how much of it still belongs to Lord and Miller? There are conflicting reports. Howard has previously said, “Phil and Chris’s fingerprints are all over the movie, given how much they put into it and the time they put into it. I hope fans won’t even think about how the movie was made. They should just lose themselves in it.” Lord and Miller weighed-in as well, saying:

“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.”

We may never know the entire story, but Vulture has a new gossipy interview with an anonymous actor who worked on the production. As Vulture puts it, this actor is “not one of the film’s marquee stars” but “was in a prime position to observe the directors’ contrasting on-set modi operandi.” Here are some behind-the-scenes details revealed by the anonymous source.

Lord and Miller Unprepared?

While creative differences were citied behind Lord and Miller’s firing, to hear this source tell it, Lord and Miller were out of their league helming the huge Star Wars film. Lord and Miller were shooting up to 30 takes of one specific scene, whereas when Howard came in, he would get the same scene done in one or two takes:

“Phil and Chris are good directors, but they weren’t prepared for Star Wars,” says our source. “After the 25th take, the actors are looking at each other like, ‘This is getting weird.’ [Lord and Miller] seemed a bit out of control. They definitely felt the pressure; with one of these movies, there are so many people on top of you all the time. The first assistant director was really experienced and had to step in to help them direct a lot of scenes.”

Vulture goes on to say that a spokeswoman for Miller and Lord claims this info is “completely inaccurate.”

It’s worth noting that just because Lord and Miller wanted multiple takes of one scene, it doesn’t mean they’re bad at their jobs. Shooting many takes often provides a filmmaker with numerous editing choices when assembling their film. However, it’s clear that that type of freedom doesn’t really gel with Disney and Lucasfilm, who have a very specific, rigid way of approaching these films.

No Script Changes

One of the most surprising reveals from the source is the confirmation that the script remained exactly the same, even after Lord and Miller left. This seems to confirm that, in Disney and Lucasfilm’s eyes, the film’s problems rested squarely with Lord and Miller, and not the material itself. Unlike Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, which received extensive rewrites and reshoots, the Solo script stayed as-is when Howard came aboard:

“It’s exactly the same script. They’re filming exactly the same things. There’s nothing new,” says the actor, adding: “[Lord and Miller] used whole sets. But Ron is just using parts from those sets. I guess they’re not shooting wide angle. Maybe to save money.”

Alden Ehrenreich’s Acting Coach

Shortly after Lord and Miller were fired, word broke that an acting coach had been brought in to help Solo star Alden Ehrenreich. Actors working with acting coaches is common – Amy Adams, a phenomenal actress, uses an acting coach, for instance. Still, when word of Ehrenreich’s acting coach broke, some fans were worried this was another sign that the Solo production was in trouble.

Vulture’s source confirms the acting coach story, and throws a bit of shade, saying: “Alden’s not a bad actor — just not good enough.” Per the source, Lucasfilm wanted something “very specific” from Ehrenreich – they wanted his performance to be as close to the original Harrison Ford role as possible. The source goes on to say that after the coach was brought in, Ehrenreich’s acting became more relaxed,” and that “he became more Harrison-like.”

Solo: A Star Wars Story opens on May 25, 2018.

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