'Star Wars': Why the Han Solo directors were fired



Creative differences is a term that is often used loosely when a director is fired from a Hollywood movie.

But it actually appears to ring true in case of Phil Lord and Christopher Miller, who were let go by Lucasfilm chief Kathleen Kennedy from their duties directing the ‪Star Wars spin-off that centers on the fan-favorite character Han Solo.

Sources say that the style and vision of Lord and Miller clashed with Lawrence Kasdan, the legendary screenwriter behind the classics Empire Strikes Back and ‪Raiders of the Lost Ark and who also wrote, with his son, Jon Kasdan, the script for the Han Solo standalone set (for now) to be released in 2018.

Lord and Miller (21 Jump Street, The Lego Movie) have a comedic and improvisational style while Kasdan favors a strict adherence to the written word – what is on the page is what must be shot.

Read more: 'Star Wars': Han Solo Film Loses Directors

The friction was felt almost immediately into shooting, sources say, but the directors always thought it would be worked through. Kennedy, the producer and head of Lucasfilm, decided to back her lifelong colleague, who shaped much of Solo's character in Empire and ‪Return of the Jedi and who had a specific tone in mind for the new movie. The duo also didn't feel they had the support of producer Allison Shearmur, who was acting as Lucasfilm's representative on the London set.

Sources say that Lord and Miller, who had relocated to London with their families for pre-production and production of the movie, were said to have been blindsided by the firing, which they learned Monday, although another source disputed that account.

The production had gone on a short hiatus to review what had been shot and to clear the air.

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23 actors you may have missed in 'Star Wars'
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23 actors you may have missed in 'Star Wars'

Daniel Craig (“The Force Awakens”)
It was something of a news item at the time, but James Bond slipped in a secret cameo in the first “Star Wars” film in a decade — as a stormtrooper. He’s the guard that Rei manages to Jedi mind trick into releasing her.

Photo Credit: Lucasfilm 

Rose Byrne (“Attack of the Clones”)
Before she was a mainstay of the “Insidious” movies alongside Patrick Wilson or had joined the “X-Men” franchise as CIA Agent Moira MacTaggert, Rose Byrne was one of the handmaidens serving Queen Amidala (Natalie Portman) in the “Star Wars” prequels. Specifically, she was Dormé, who accompanied Padmé to Coruscant to do government things.

Photo Credit: Lucasfilm 

Bill Hader and Ben Schwartz (“The Force Awakens”)
You’d think the last thing a droid like BB-8 would require is a voice, given that he’s a robot and speaks in bleeps and bloops. But to get the sound and personality just right, director J.J. Abrams enlisted comedians Bill Hader (formerly of “SNL”) and Ben Schwartz (well-known for playing Jean-Ralphio on “Parks and Rec”).

Photo Credit: Lucasfilm

Keira Knightley (“The Phantom Menace”)Keira Knightley (“The Phantom Menace”)
Knightley wasn’t just any handmaiden in “The Phantom Menace” — she was the handmaiden. Serving as the decoy for the real queen, Knightley was the actress people thought was Amidala for half the movie, before Natalie Portman’s Padmé revealed her true identity.

Photo Credit: Lucasfilm

Thomas Brodie-Sangster (“The Force Awakens”)
“Game of Thrones” might have noticed a familiar First Order officer during shots of the bridge of the Starkiller Base. It was Jojen Reed, Bran Stark’s loyal friend, who also plays Newt in the “Maze Runner” franchise.

Photo Credit: Lucasfilms

Sally Hawkins ("The Phantom Menace")
Before she was an Academy Award-nominated actress for her role in "Blue Jasmine," Sally Hawkins was an extra in the giant celebration scene in "The Phantom Menace." She admitted in an interview with Conan O'Brien that she'd never actually seen the movie, despite being in it.

Photo Credit: Lucasfilm

Joel Edgerton (“Attack of the Clones,” “Revenge of the Sith”)
Luke’s moisture-farming, humorless uncle Owen Lars was young once, but he was never not a guy who stood around a crappy homestead on Tatooine. In the prequel movies, the role was picked up by Joel Edgerton of “Loving” and “The Great Gatsby.”

Photo Credit: Lucasfilms

Keisha Castle-Hughes ("Revenge of the Sith")
Sometime after Padmé's term as queen had ended by "Revenge of the Sith," the wise people of Naboo apparently elected another teenager queen: Queen Apailana, played by Keisha Castle-Hughes. Apailana is seen at Padmé's funeral, and Castle-Hughes is known for "The Whale Rider" and appearing on "The Walking Dead."

Photo Credit: Lucasfilm

Dominic West ("The Phantom Menace")
The prequel trilogy was filled with actors who would go on to do great things, but who were mostly filling small or background roles in the "Star Wars" universe. Dominic West's character in "The Phantom Menace" was an otherwise nondescript member of Queen Amidala's palace guard -- nothing so interesting as his later turn as Jimmy McNulty on HBO's "The Wire."

Photo Credit: Lucasfilm 

Simon Pegg (“The Force Awakens”)

Another secret cameo, Pegg is covered in alien costume work as the junk dealer Unkar Plutt on Jakku. He’s the guy who gives Rei less than what her salvage is probably worth.

Photo Credit: Lucasfilm

Billie Lourd (“The Force Awakens”)

Billie Lourd sneaked into Lucasfilm’s revival of “Star Wars” as Lt. Connix, one of the Resistance fighters running tactical machinery in the base of General Leia Organa (Carrie Fisher). Known for her hilarious turn as Chanel No. 3 on the horror-comedy series “Scream Queens,” she’s also Fisher’s daughter.

Photo Credit: Lucasfilm 

John Ratzenberger ("The Empire Strikes Back")

Ratzenberger is best remembered as know-it-all postman Cliff Clavin from "Cheers," or maybe his numerous voice roles in Pixar movies. In "The Empire Strikes Back," Ratzenberger is one of the Rebel officers hanging around Echo Base on Hoth with Princess Leia and C-3PO (Anthony Daniels).

Photo Credit: Lucasfilm 


Tony Cox ("Return of the Jedi")

In an Ewok suit, you'd never know Tony Cox appeared in "Return of the Jedi." He wouldn't really show off his acting chops until later when he was stealing scenes all over comedies like "Bad Santa," where he was Billy Bob Thornton's much-smarter mall-robbing accomplice/Christmas elf, and "Me, Myself and Irene."

Photo Credit: Lucasfilm 


 

Julian Glover ("The Empire Strikes Back")
Julian Glover's General Veers is probably the most competent officer available to Darth Vader as wanders the galaxy looking for the Rebels and Luke Skywalker. He'd be decidedly less competent as Grand Maester Pycelle on "Game of Thrones," but decidedly more evil as Nazi collaborator Walter Donovan in "Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade" (you know -- the guy who ages super fast after drinking from the wrong grail).

Photo Credit: Lucasfilm 

Richard Armitage ("The Phantom Menace")
Blink and you'd miss Richard Armitage's small background role (second from the right in the background) among the guards on Naboo. Although, it's tough to recognize him without the lustrous locks Armitage sported in "The Hobbit" as Thorin Oakenshield, or the creepy teeth from his turn as killer Francis Dolarhyde in "Hannibal" Season 3 on NBC.

Photo Credit: Lucasfilm 

Sofia Coppola (“The Phantom Menace”)
There really were a mess of these handmaidens. Before she was a full-time director, Sofia Coppola picked up a few small acting gigs, including the handmaiden Saché in “The Phantom Menace.” Just a few years after the 1999 movie, in 2003, Coppola would pick up a Best Director Academy Award nomination for “Lost in Translation.”

Photo Credit: Lucasfilm 


 Deep Roy ("Return of the Jedi")

It's easiest to remember Deep Roy in the Johnny Depp-starring "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory," since Roy played every orange oompa-loompa in that movie. In "Return of the Jedi," he was both an Ewok and the puffy alien band member Droopy McCool in Jabba's Palace. Deep Roy also worked on "The Empire Strikes Back," acting as a stand-in for the muppet Yoda.

Photo Credit: Lucasfilms 

Bai Ling ("Revenge of the Sith")

Bai Ling actually doesn't appear in "Revenge of the Sith," but she was supposed to. Her scene as Senator Bana Breemu was cut from the film. But there are things you definitely have seen her in, including "Crank: High Voltage," "The Crow" and "Entourage."

Photot Credit: Lucasfilm

Peter Serafinowicz ("The Phantom Menace")

Marvel Cinematic Universe fans will recognize Peter Seafinowicz for his turn as untrusting Nova Corps officer Garthan Saal in "Guardians of the Galaxy." He didn't appear in "The Phantom Menace," but provided the gravely, frightening voice of Darth Maul (the rest of whom was played by Ray Park), as well as for a gungan warrior and a battle droid.

Photo Credit: Lucasfilm 

Peter Serafinowicz ("The Phantom Menace")

Marvel Cinematic Universe fans will recognize Peter Seafinowicz for his turn as untrusting Nova Corps officer Garthan Saal in "Guardians of the Galaxy." He didn't appear in "The Phantom Menace," but provided the gravely, frightening voice of Darth Maul (the rest of whom was played by Ray Park), as well as for a gungan warrior and a battle droid.

Photo Credit: Lucasfilm


 Treat Williams ("The Empire Strikes Back")

When you're Treat Williams, you can wander onto the set of "The Empire Strikes Back" and find yourself in the movie. Williams reportedly dropped by England's Elstree Studios set, where the movie was being filmed, to visit Carrie Fisher. Apparently one thing led to another, and now Williams plays one of the Rebel troops running around Echo Base on Hoth.

Photo Credit: Lucasfilms 

Martin Csokas ("Attack of the Clones")

The "Star Wars" movies have slipped a few notable actors into the voice roles of aliens. Martin Csokas is one -- he provided the voice of the Geonosian alien Poggle the Lesser in "Attack of the Clones." Fantasy fans probably know him better as the elf Celeborn, husband to Cate Blanchett's Galadriel in "The Lord of the Rings."

For more features and deep dives into the world of "Star Wars" and the culture surrounding it, be sure to check out IMDb's "Star Wars" hub.

Photo Creidt: Lucasfilm 

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"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," said Lord and Miller's statement.

Lucasfilm and owner Disney have already targeted their replacement, although the companies are keeping mum.

Ron Howard is one of the names that has emerged, accordidng to sources, although some say that Kasdan, who has directed movies like ‪The Big Chill and Silverado, could step in as he is already in prime position to know what needs to be fixed.

Lucasfilm faced a fraught production in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, the first spinoff film in the stories franchise. Director Gareth Edwards was supplemented by writer-director Tony Gilroy, who helped shape the film.

Read more: Was the Han Solo Movie a Good Idea for a 'Star Wars' Spinoff?

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Star Wars Wedding
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Star Wars Wedding
HOLLYWOOD, CA - DECEMBER 17: Caroline Ritter and Andrew Porters get married with a Star Wars themed wedding at TCL Chinese Theatre IMAX on December 17, 2015 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Tommaso Boddi/WireImage)
LOS ANGELES, CA - DECEMBER 17: Star Wars fans Andrew Porters (L) and Caroline Ritter of Australia, who were married today in a Star Wars-themed wedding in the forecourt of TCL Chinese Theatre earlier today, kiss as they emerge from a screening on opening night of Walt Disney Pictures And Lucasfilm's 'Star Wars: The Force Awakens' at the TCL Chinese Theatre on December 17, 2015 in the Hollywood section of Los Angeles, California. (Photo by David McNew/Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - DECEMBER 17: Andrew Porters at the 'Star Wars' Wedding of fans Andrew Porters and Caroline Ritter held in the forecourt of the TCL Chinese IMax Theatre on December 17, 2015 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Albert L. Ortega/Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - DECEMBER 17: Shawn Crosby at the 'Star Wars' Wedding of fans Andrew Porters and Caroline Ritter held in the forecourt of the TCL Chinese IMax Theatre on December 17, 2015 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Albert L. Ortega/Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - DECEMBER 17: Jason Thomas at the 'Star Wars' Wedding of fans Andrew Porters and Caroline Ritter held in the forecourt of the TCL Chinese IMax Theatre on December 17, 2015 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Albert L. Ortega/Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - DECEMBER 17: Andrew Porters at the 'Star Wars' Wedding of fans Andrew Porters and Caroline Ritter held in the forecourt of the TCL Chinese IMax Theatre on December 17, 2015 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Albert L. Ortega/Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - DECEMBER 17: Atmosphere at the 'Star Wars' Wedding of fans Andrew Porters and Caroline Ritter held in the forecourt of the TCL Chinese IMax Theatre on December 17, 2015 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Albert L. Ortega/Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - DECEMBER 17: Atmosphere at the 'Star Wars' Wedding of fans Andrew Porters and Caroline Ritter held in the forecourt of the TCL Chinese IMax Theatre on December 17, 2015 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Albert L. Ortega/Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - DECEMBER 17: Atmosphere at the 'Star Wars' Wedding of fans Andrew Porters and Caroline Ritter held in the forecourt of the TCL Chinese IMax Theatre on December 17, 2015 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Albert L. Ortega/Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - DECEMBER 17: Cosplayer David Baxter dressed as Darth Vader escorts Caroline Ritter at the 'Star Wars' Wedding of fans Andrew Porters and Caroline Ritter hekd in the forecourt of the TCL Chinese IMax Theatre on December 17, 2015 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Albert L. Ortega/Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - DECEMBER 17: Chewbacca at the 'Star Wars' Wedding of fans Andrew Porters and Caroline Ritter held in the forecourt of the TCL Chinese IMax Theatre on December 17, 2015 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Albert L. Ortega/Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - DECEMBER 17: Atmosphere at the 'Star Wars' Wedding of fans Andrew Porters and Caroline Ritter held in the forecourt of the TCL Chinese IMax Theatre on December 17, 2015 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Albert L. Ortega/Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - DECEMBER 17: Cosplayer David Baxter dressed as Darth Vader at the 'Star Wars' Wedding of fans Andrew Porters and Caroline Ritter hekd in the forecourt of the TCL Chinese IMax Theatre on December 17, 2015 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Albert L. Ortega/Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - DECEMBER 17: Andrew Porters at the 'Star Wars' Wedding of fans Andrew Porters and Caroline Ritter held in the forecourt of the TCL Chinese IMax Theatre on December 17, 2015 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Albert L. Ortega/Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - DECEMBER 17: Shawn Crosby at the 'Star Wars' Wedding of fans Andrew Porters and Caroline Ritter held in the forecourt of the TCL Chinese IMax Theatre on December 17, 2015 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Albert L. Ortega/Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - DECEMBER 17: Cake provided by Baskin Robbins at the 'Star Wars' Wedding of fans Andrew Porters and Caroline Ritter hekd in the forecourt of the TCL Chinese IMax Theatre on December 17, 2015 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Albert L. Ortega/Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - DECEMBER 17: Cosplayers dressed as Obi Wan Kenobi, Chewbacca, Darth Vader, Storm Trooper and Anakin Skywalker at the 'Star Wars' wedding of fans Andrew Porters and Caroline Ritter held in the forecourt of the TCL Chinese IMax Theatre on December 17, 2015 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Albert L. Ortega/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, UNITED STATES - DECEMBER 17: Performers, wearing 'Star Wars' costumes pose during the 'Star Wars' themed wedding ceremony of 29-years-old firefighter Andrew Porters (not seen) and 34-years-old truck driver Caroline Ritter (not seen) which organized in front of the Chinese Theatre in Hollywood neighborhood of Los Angeles, CA, USA on December 17, 2015. (Photo by Mintaha Neslihan Eroglu/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, UNITED STATES - DECEMBER 17: 29-years-old firefighter Andrew Porters (R) and 34-years-old truck driver Caroline Ritter (L) poses with a performer wearing 'Darth Wader' costume during their 'Star Wars themed' wedding ceremony organized in front of the Chinese Theatre in Hollywood neighborhood of Los Angeles, CA, USA on December 17, 2015. (Photo by Mintaha Neslihan Eroglu/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
Australian Star Wars fans Andrew Porters, 29 and Caroline Ritter, 34, celebrate their marriage in a Star Wars-themed wedding, in the forecourt of the TCL Chinese Theatre, December 17, 2015 in Hollywood, California. AFP PHOTO / ROBYN BECK / AFP / ROBYN BECK (Photo credit should read ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images)
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