Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy announced this evening that directors Phil Lord and Christopher Miller are leaving the Han Solo standalone film over “creative differences.” Lord and Miller gained clout in Hollywood for writing and directing The Lego Movie, as well as 21 Jump Street and its sequel 22 Jump Street.
“Phil Lord and Christopher Miller are talented filmmakers who have assembled an incredible cast and crew, but it’s become clear that we had different creative visions on this film, and we’ve decided to part ways. A new director will be announced soon,” Kennedy said in a statement.
The film starting shooting back in January and is still slated for a May 2018 release, although other recent Star Wars films, including Rogue One and Episode VIII, have been pushed to December releases. Rogue One made headlines last year when Lucasfilm brought in writer and director Tony Gilroy for reshoots to smooth out the final product.
The film is set to star Alden Ehrenreich as a young Han Solo, with Woody Harrelson as his mentor, Donald Glover as a young Lando Calrissian, and unspecified roles for Game of Thrones’ Emilia Clarke and Westworld’s Thandie Newton. Putting aside the decorated cast, that the high-profile directing duo quit that far into filming is not good news, to say the least.
the fact that this is happening FIVE MONTHS into filming is pretty much unheard-of, what on earth happened over there.— Gavia Baker-Whitelaw (@Hello_Tailor) June 20, 2017
“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,” Lord and Miller said in a statement.
Update 10:08am ET: Variety reports that Lord and Miller were fired from the production after clashes with LucasFilm president Kathleen Kennedy. Kennedy was reportedly unhappy with the directors’ shooting style, and was unwilling to give the pair leeway to execute LucasFilm’s vision. The headline for this story has been changed to reflect the news.