I have two questions about the firing of Phil Lord and Chris Miller off the Han Solo spin-off. One, why did producer Kathy Kennedy wait four and a half months to cut them loose with the film having begun shooting in late January or thereabouts? And two, what does it say about Kennedy’s hiring instincts that she chose a couple of guys whom she so disagreed with that “she didn’t even like the way they folded their socks,” according to Brent Lang‘s Variety story?
Kennedy, no doubt looking to shoot and construct the film along familiar lines, said in a recent statement that “it’s become clear that we had different creative visions on this film, and we’ve decided to part ways.”
This conflict wasn’t apparent to Kennedy after three or four weeks of principal photography? Or after several weeks of it? I don’t know the backstory but what kind of producer needs four and a half months to assess a flawed situation and then finally do something about it with filming two-thirds completed?
In my book this is the second big problem with the Han Solo flick, the first being the casting of Alden Ehrenreich as Solo. I explained my reservations in a 5.22.17 piece called “Ehrenreich Won’t Cut Han Solo Mustard“:
It was my reaction to Alden Ehrenreich‘s performance in Alexandre Moors‘ The Yellow Birds, which I saw at last January’s Sundance Film festival, that convinced me he won’t be a good Han Solo. He just doesn’t have that presence, that Harrison Ford cock-of-the-walk cool. There’s just something about Ehrenreich that feels guarded and clenched.
Alden Ehrenreich and Untitled Han Solo Film costars (including Woody Harrelson) in recently posted set photo.
Posted on 1.22.17: “Where In The Valley of Elah had the great Tommy Lee Jones and Charlize Theron butting heads while looking into the stateside death of Jones’ son, The Yellow Birds mostly just wades into the frosty expressions and general lethargy of Ehrenreich’s Bartie — a guy I had zero interest in and didn’t want to hang out with.
“The reason is Ehrenreich himself. He simply lacks that X-factor magnetism that popular lead actors all have. Charming as he was in Hail Caesar!, this beady-eyed fellow doesn’t have ‘it’ — he’s always wearing the same sullen, hiding-out, stone-faced expression, no matter what kind of situation or character he’s playing. He never lifted off the ground or stepped out of bounds in Rules Don’t Apply. I’ll be seriously surprised if he turns out to be a great Han Solo as that Harrison Ford sexy-rogue quality just isn’t in him.”
There’s apparently some concern in Geekville that Alden Ehrenreich’s ’70s-styled Han Solo hair is going to seem weirdly “off” for a film coming out in 2018.