Even a sage as wise as Yoda probably wouldn’t have seen this one coming. Phil Lord and Chris Miller, previously the directors of 21 Jump Street and The Lego Movie, have departed Disney-Lucasfilm’s Star Wars spin-off about the young Han Solo.
The news comes via The Hollywood Reporter, and given that Lucasfilm head Kathleen Kennedy has made a statement, it’s evident that it’s all official.
“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.
At the same time, Lord and Miller’s explanation is a variation on the old “creative differences” statement:
“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.”
What’s so surprising is just how late in production Lord and Miller have left; they originally joined back in 2015, and with the Han Solo movie due out on the 25th May 2018, they’re surely well into production. Indeed, we only heard earlier today that Woody Harrelson, who plays a major part in the Star Wars spin-off, had finished his UK press duties for War For The Planet Of The Apes so that he could go back to the Han Solo set.
At this stage, we can only speculate as to what’s happened behind the scenes. But with the movie now looking for a new director, we wouldn’t be surprised if it misses its originally-planned release date.