How Much Of 'Solo: A Star Wars Story' Was Reshot?

Now that Solo: A Star Wars Story is in post-production, a lot of questions are starting to emerge as to just how much of Phil Lord and Chris Miller's original film was reshot by Ron Howard. New unsubstantiated reports have come out claiming that at least 80% of the spin-off film was reshot for possibly twice the budget. Could that be true? Let's jump to hyperspace and take a look at the possible size and cost of the Han Solo reshoots.

The latest episode of Star Wars News Net's The Resistance Broadcast claims that their inside sources are saying that Ron Howard reshot "nearly all" of Solo, for possibly "twice the budget." The inside report claims that an estimated 80% or more of the spin-off was reshot by Howard. I can't vouch for the reliability of The Resistance Broadcast's sources, but Star Wars News Net has had some reliable scoops in the past.

Han Solo Director Replacement

How Much Of Solo: A Star Wars Story Was Reshot?

So, is there anything to this? I've been seeing a lot of sites reporting this information so I thought it may be worth taking a look at the facts. Since Disney and Lucasfilm have a strict "no comment" policy on all things Star Wars, we can only look at the information that has been officially revealed to us:

  • Filming began on the Han Solo spin-off film on January 30, 2017.
  • On June 20, 2017, citing "creative differences," Lucasfilm and Lord and Miller jointly announced their decision to part ways (although later it was revealed by insiders that Lucasfilm essentially let the directors go as their visions were not aligned).
  • We had learned that the production had taken a brief hiatus before this decision was announced.
  • So it seems that Lord and Miller shot for just over four months.
  • When Lord and Miller exited the project, it was announced that Ron Howard was hired to work on the remaining three-and-a-half weeks of scheduled principal photography as well as a now-scheduled five weeks of reshoots.
  • Howard posted a photo from his first day on set, which was June 29, 2017.  He announced production wrap on October 18, 2017. So Howard was filming for almost 4 months, almost the same exact length that Lord and Miller were on the film. Four months is about the same amount of time it took to film Marvel's Thor: Ragnarok.
  • Of course, to be fair, we don't know if the film had decreased or increased production during this time. For instance, Rogue One was said to be filming 6 day weeks during their reshoots. We know that Solo had some issues aligning with actors schedules, recasting Michael K Williams' CG alien character with Paul Bettany as a human. It's possible that production had to work around the schedules of the actors who were not prepared for extensive reshoots.

    So it's not exactly fair to say that just because Ron Howard shot for nearly 4 months (the same amount of time as Lord and Miller had put into the project) that the time was equal. But I think it's fair to say that four months of filming is not just a minor reshoot – it's significant. It definitely seems larger than the eight and a half weeks that Disney initially announced. And you could see how someone would come to the estimated figure of 80%.


    How Much Did The Han Solo Reshoots Cost?

    As for the cost of the reshoots, I'm not sure that much could be estimated by anyone but the producers and studio at this point.

    Most of the production design, set design, costume design and production had been finished prior to Howard joining the project. It's doubtful that Disney and Lucasfilm created new elaborate locations and characters for the revamped version of the movie – they likely adapted many of the existing details already created for the production. It's unclear how much of the visual effects were completed and needed to be thrown out. I believe Disney has the hold on the Pinewood stages for the next few years at least, so I don't think the filming location would have cost them anything more.

    It has been estimated that Ron Howard makes $13-15 million upfront for a directing/producing gig, and then a portion of the backend, which can be substantial. It's unclear if he would get paid more or less for coming in to rescue the situation, but you would think that Disney gave the big name director some extra incentive to fix this film. His involvement is a big expense.

    It's also been documented that at least one major actor had to be recast. In film production, time is money. Crew is paid per day/hour, same with most actors, and I'm sure these reshoots extended far past their contracted duties. This is where a lot of the money is spent. It's likely that a day of shooting costs anywhere from $500,00 to a couple million dollars, depending on a number of factors.

    Ron Howard oversaw four months of filming (which included three and a half weeks of initial principal photography uncompleted by Lord & Miller). An educated guess would say that it probably cost a little bit less than the initial principal photography budget.