Ron Howard Reportedly Shot 70% Of 'Solo: A Star Wars Story'

We're getting close to the release of Solo: A Star Wars Story. The film looks great and marketing is going smoothly, but still, the specter of the film's troubled production lingers. People want to know: just how much of the film did Ron Howard shoot compared to what fired directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller filmed? We've heard different reports, but now we might have an answer.

Solo: A Star Wars Story - Ron Howard

Ron Howard Shot 70% of Solo

The Wall Street Journal has a report on the behind-the-scenes shenanigans during the making of Solo. Part of this story confirms what we already knew: original directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller were fired because Kathleen Kennedy was unhappy with how they were approaching the film. Per the Journal: "Tensions rose once shooting started, as the Solo directors sometimes shot dozens of different versions of scenes, straying from what was in the script."

After Lord and Miller were fired, Lucasfilm brought in seasoned pro Ron Howard to get the job done. The thing is, Howard came in after Lord and Miller had already shot a huge chunk of the film. So just how much of the final film did Howard end up shooting? Co-star Paul Bettany has said Howard "reshot a lot more than was originally intended," while his fellow co-star Thandie Newton said that "ninety percent" of her work in the finished film was filmed by Lord and Miller.

Now, thanks to the Journal report, we (might) have a concrete answer: Howard's work makes up about 70% of the finished film:

Within days, Ms. Kennedy hired Mr. Howard, who like her and Mr. Kasdan rose to filmmaking fame in the 1980s and '90s while Messrs. Miller and Lord were children. Mr. Howard worked faster than his predecessors, sometimes reshooting scenes in a few hours that Messrs. Lord and Miller spent a whole day on, one of the "Solo" actors said. About 70% of the finished movie came from scenes Mr. Howard shot, another person close to the production said.

A source also tells the Journal that Howard wanted to make a film closer to the spirit of the original Star Wars trilogy, while Lord and Miller were going for more of a Guardians of the Galaxy feel.

lord and miller solo

Final Credit

Here's the most interesting revelation from this report: Lord and Miller were shown a cut of the film put together by Howard last winter. This early screening was to determine whether or not Lord and Miller might want to challenge Howard for credit for the final film through the Directors Guild of America. Ultimately, Lord and Miller decided to not fight for a director's credit for the film.

"In light of the creative differences, we elected to take an executive producer credit," Miller said. This certainly indicates that most of the final film really does belong to Howard. If not, you can assume that Lord and Miller would've attempted to challenge the film's directorial credit.

Howard has danced around the issue of just how much of the final film is his. He's also done a good job of not throwing Lord and Miller under the bus, probably because Ron Howard seems like a really nice man. In the past, the director said:

"I don't really want to explain [the filming]. I don't really want to be specific about that because, again, I don't even want that to matter to fans. I could understand why you'd ask, and some might even be curious, but look, everybody who has been involved in this has done nothing but love what this movie could be, and that's been the vibe around it. I think audiences are gonna feel that love and excitement."

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