Just Ron with it: director steps in to save Han Solo disaster
It was supposed to be a big-budget sci-fi action film, but 'Solo: A Star Wars Story' has been bedeviled by a host of problems
There was always going to be pressure over the making of a new Star Wars film. Add to the mix a film that promised to tell the origin story of one of the franchise's best-loved characters, and it becomes Hollywood's most irresistible secret.
The fact, then, that Solo: A Star Wars Story has been beset by production problems, including the unexpected departure of original director duo Phil Lord and Christopher Miller – known for goofball blockbusters The Lego Movie and 21 Jump Street – last year, five months after shooting began.
Lord and Miller were fired by Lucasfilm boss Kathleen Kennedy, who has also produced the last four Star Wars films, citing “creative differences”.
Ron Howard, the Oscar-winning director of A Beautiful Mind and Frost/Nixon, has since taken the director's seat on the “space western”.Now an anonymous actor from the film has gone on record to explain just how chaotic life behind the scenes of Solo: A Star Wars Story really was.
The source said it was apparent that Lord and Miller just didn't have the experience to deal with the kind of big-budget sci-fi action film Solo: A Star Wars Story was expected to be, and insisted on dozens of takes: “After the 25th take, the actors are looking at each other like: ‘This is getting weird’.
Making a scene
“[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.”
A spokesperson for Lord and Miller said: “This information is completely inaccurate,” but couldn't cite specific inaccuracies.Harrison Ford has left huge galactic shoes to fill and, despite casting directors trawling through 2,000 hopefuls, Alden Ehrenreich still needed assistance to step into the role of Han Solo on set.
In fact, in March, an acting coach was brought on to help the 28-year-old get into character: “Lucasfilm wanted something very specific: copying someone else. Alden’s not a bad actor – just not good enough,” the anonymous source said.“You could see his acting became more relaxed. He became more Harrison-like. The coach helped!”
In the dark
What's more surprising is that once Lucasfilm bosses started to clock that Lord and Miller weren't creating the film they had envisaged, the majority of the cast and crew were reportedly left in the dark about the making of the movie.“It was crazy,” the actor recalls. “They fired our bosses. Everyone was texting each other: ‘Did you see the news? Do you think they’re doing reshoots?’ It was messy. And it was crazy how everything got leaked to the press.”With Howard's arrival, however, came change: “When he came on, he took control and you could feel it. He got respect immediately. He’s really confident. A really easy guy to work with.”
Just weeks remain before the release of Solo: A Star Wars Story, and intriguing things appear to have been happening in the film's publicity department, judging by the posters, at least.
Posters with Han Solo wielding a space gun appeared to have been re-released with the main character unarmed. In fact, Disney claims, the poster where Solo is holding the blaster is a Spanish poster, while the one without is Brazilian, where Disney is hoping to promote the film with a more family-friendly image.