TV & FILM
brian-mcgee - June 21, 2017
There's trouble in Star Wars world. Again.
For the second time in a year, Lucasfilm is at odds with the director(s) of a Star Wars spin-off film. Last year around this time, we were hearing whispers of problems with director Gareth Edwards' vision for Rogue One, but he still remained the director on the film all the way through its release. This year, things are quite different. Four months into production on next summer's Han Solo origin film, directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller have left the project.
Now, whether or not they left of their own volition will be the subject of much debate over the next several months, but the fact is that they're no longer directing the film. Deadline broke the story yesterday afternoon, with both Lucasfilm and Lord & Miller releasing statements that indicated those pesky "creative differences" were to blame for the parting of ways.
Not long after, Variety reported that Lord & Miller didn't leave the film voluntarily but were fired from the film because they were constantly at odds with Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy and screenwriter Lawrence Kasdan. Now, as Robert Evans famously said, "There's three sides to every story: your side, my side, and the truth. And no one is lying." There's probably a real answer to what happened that will only ever be known by Lord, Miller, and Kennedy, but we'll never hear about it thanks to NDAs and the like.
The truth of the matter is that modern filmmakers are required to kiss the ring and are only allowed a modicum of freedom that fits within the bounds of corporate demands. Marvel started the ball rolling when they fired Patty Jenkins from Thor: The Dark World and then, much more famously, kicked Edgar Wright off of Ant-Man just before production started. This is the way of the world from now on and square pegs like Lord & Miller will never be given complete creative freedom on a big corporate movie like this.
Deadline is now reporting that Ron Howard is the top choice to take over the director's chair. Don't get me wrong, Howard's a great director but he won't bring any personality to this film whatsoever, which is exactly the point here. Lucasfilm, like the other Disney owned entertainment juggernaut Marvel, don't really want original voices. They want people who can deliver a Star Wars movie that looks, sounds, and feels like every other Star Wars movie. And until moviegoers vote with their wallets and stop paying for subpar entertainment, this trend will continue well into the future.