Lucasfilm Details Why Original 'Solo: A Star Wars Story' Directors Departed the Project

Behind-the-scenes turmoil for the Star Wars saga began last summer with the surprise announcement that Phil Lord and Chris Miller, who were directing the Han Solo spin-off film, were departing the project. Fans were left wondering what caused the departure, with neither the filmmakers nor Lucasfilm giving concrete reasons for the split, with fans having to speculate on their own. With Solo: A Star Wars Story landing in theaters in only a few months, Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy finally shed light on the situation.

“I think these guys are hilarious, but they come from a background of animation and sketch comedy and when you are making these movies you can do that and there’s plenty of room for improvisation, we do that all the time," Kennedy shared with Entertainment Weekly. "But it has to be inside of a highly structured process or you can’t get the work done and you can’t move the armies of people to anticipate and have things ready. So, it literally came down to process. Just getting it done.”

The duo delivered audiences The LEGO Movie and the 21 Jump Street films, whose successes surprised many audiences. LEGO allowed the filmmakers to concoct anything they wanted which animators could bring to life, while the comedic nature of Jump Street allowed actors to tweak lines and sequences as they saw fit.

Clearly the massive scale of a Star Wars film stifled their creativity, resulting in Ron Howard taking over the directorial duties.

Kennedy's words echoed what the filmmakers hinted at following their departure.

“Sometimes people break up, and it’s really sad, and it’s really disappointing, but it happens and we learned a lot from our collaborators and we’re better filmmakers for it,” Lord expressed of the situation. “We’re really proud of the work we did on the movie and we wish everybody the best.”

While it was difficult to say no to directing a Star Wars film, Howard was initially apprehensive of the situation.

“I know Chris and Phil. They’re incredibly talented guys…But when I learned that this change was happening, it just came in a moment where I was working on lots of new projects for Imagine, and I had not planned to direct anything last year," Howard confessed. "So then this came my way…I was reluctant, but I also began to feel that I could help.”

Similar creative leadership issues arose last fall when Lucasfilm announced that Colin Trevorrow would no longer direct Episode IX, with J.J. Abrams taking over the film's development.

Solo: A Star Wars Story hits theaters on May 25.

[H/T Entertainment Weekly]

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