Star Wars fans were pretty psyched when it was announced that Han Solo would be getting his own spinoff movie, with the ace casting of Donald Glover, Woody Harrelson, Emilia Clarke and Alden Ehenreich as he who shot first. They were even more excited when it was announced that the movie would be helmed white-hot directorial team Lord and Miller—the guys who helped make The Lego Movie and 21 Jump Street multi-million dollar properties.
All seemed well until yesterday, when Lucasfilm gobsmackingly announced that Lord and Miller had been fired over “creative differences.” No new director has been announced, though Ron Howard and Joe Johnston’s names were reportedly being thrown around. There’s no exact word as to what led to the firing either, although there are some reports that their directing style clashed with Lucasfilm producer and captain of the Star Wars franchise ship, Kathleen Kennedy.
The movie’s been filming since February, and while there’s no word on exactly how close it was to wrapping production, at least one report says there were only a few weeks left of shooting planned.
Pulling the director out of a project this late in the game is pretty close to unprecedented. Ava DuVernay and Edgar Wright pulled out of directing Black Panther and Ant-Man respectively, but neither had started filming before parting ways. It throws an extra light onto just how hard it is to build these cinematic universes.