Some disruptive Star Wars news hit the interwebs on Tuesday afternoon: Phil Lord and Christopher Miller won't direct the Han Solo Star Wars film any longer. That's right, the duo is no longer attached to the highly-anticipated project, according to Kathleen Kennedy, president of Lucasfilm. But honestly, the fact that they dropped out isn't necessarily a bad sign for the future of the film.
In a statement, Kennedy said:
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.
The directors released their own statement, too:
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.
The directors previous credits include The LEGO Movie, 21 Jump Street and its sequel, 22 Jump Street. The duo clearly has a grasp on comedy, but perhaps that wasn't the direction the Han Solo movie needed to take. Directing a Star Wars-adjacent film would have been a big departure from the likes of Jump Street and the LEGO Movie's animation, for one. But I'm only speculating — there are a multitude of reasons that could have caused the "creative differences" that led to their exit.
The Han Solo film stars Alden Ehrenreich, Emilia Clarke, Woody Harrelson, Donald Glover, and Phoebe Waller-Bridge, and centers around young Han (Ehrenreich) before he becomes the man audiences know him best for. It's a film that, unsurprisingly, Star Wars fans are ravenous for. And given the success (both critical and financial) of the Star Wars universe's latest films, all signs pointed to the Han Solo movie having similar success. Yet the film no longer has directors, and this throws an obvious wrench into production.
But considering the decision was seemingly amicable (or so both statements seem to suggest) their departure could be a positive for the film. After all, surely the art would suffer if both the studio and the directors were unhappy. It could be to the benefit of the fans that the directors dropped out when they did. Sure, principal photography is all but completed, but there's still time to find someone else who's better suited to steer the ship. No word yet on whether or not there will be reshoots once they do find the new woman or man for the job, but it's certainly a possibility.
The film began shooting in January, and its release date of May 25, 2018 will stay the same through the shuffle. For now, fans will have to wait and see who steps up to the plate to steer the Millenium Falcon (or whatever spaceship preceeds it) into theaters next year. We may never see what Lord and Miller's version of a youthful Han Solo would look like, but for the sake of the project as a whole it may just be for the best.