Michael K. Williams Joins Cast
Michael Kenneth Williams is going from his hometown of Brooklyn, New York, to a galaxy far, far away.
StarWars.com is thrilled to announce that Williams has officially signed on for the upcoming untitled Han Solo Star Wars movie. Williams comes to Star Wars having played many memorable roles in both TV and film, including Omar Little in The Wire and Albert “Chalky” White in Boardwalk Empire, bringing charisma, humanity, and nobility to all his performances.
Phil Lord and Christopher Miller are directing the untitled Han Solo Star Wars movie from a script by Lawrence and Jon Kasdan, with a cast that includes Alden Ehrenreich as Han Solo, Woody Harrelson, Emilia Clarke, Donald Glover as Lando Calrissian, Thandie Newton, and Phoebe Waller-Bridge, with Joonas Suotamo as Chewbacca.
Ian Kenny Joins Cast
Ian Kenny, one of the actors in the acclaimed British movie Sing Street, has joined the cast of Disney’s Han Solo movie, The Hollywood Reporter has confirmed.
Details for Kenny’s character were unavailable.
Phil Lord and Chris Miller Exit Han Solo Movie
In a surprising turn of events, Phil Lord and Chris Miller have just exited the still-untitled Han Solo movie, currently in production.
“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,” said Kathleen Kennedy, president of Lucasfilm in a statement just posted to StarWars.com.
“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,” add Phil Lord and Chris Miller.
It was previously revealed that the film will focus on how young Han became the smuggler, thief, and scoundrel whom Luke Skywalker and Obi-Wan Kenobi first encountered in the cantina at Mos Eisley. It has since been confirmed that the film will span a seven-year stretch, covering Han’s life from 18 to 24, showcasing how Han came into possession of the Millennium Falcon and how he first met Chewbacca.
The film is set to feature Hail, Caesar‘s Alden Ehrenreich as Han, Atlanta‘s Donald Glover as Lando Calrissian and The Force Awakens‘ Joonas Suotamo as Chewbacca. Woody Harrelson is attached to play Han’s mentor, a man by the name of Beckett, while Game of Thrones‘ Emilia Clarke, Westworld‘s Thandie Newton, The Wire‘s Michael K. Williams and Fleabag‘s Phoebe Waller-Bridge are set for undisclosed roles.
Frontrunners to replace Lord and Miller on Han Solo film emerge
Last night, a bombshell arrived online in the form of the departure of directors Phil Lord and Christopher Miller from the upcoming Han Solo Star Wars movie, with the pair and Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy citing “creative differences.” Kennedy also noted that “a new director will be announced soon.”
With the dust at least semi-settled, Deadline reports that a potential replacement for the pair could come in the form of Ron Howard. Howard is attached to projects in development but isn’t currently filming anything. In addition, the outlet notes that Lawrence Kasdan, who co-wrote the Han Solo film with his son Jake, is also a potential replacement for the film. Kasdan has been involved in the Star Wars franchise since The Empire Strikes Back and has even directed some films of his own, including The Big Chill and Silverado.
The Hollywood Reporter corroborates that the pair are in contention for the job, while also noting that Joe Johnston of The Rocketeer and Jumanji is another name being floated for the position. Johnston began his career working on the first Star Wars film and worked on the visual effects of every chapter in the original trilogy.
It remains to be seen who will sit in the director’s chair for the upcoming film when production resumes (as just three weeks were left of the film’s principal photography) or how the Director’s Guild will handle the situation moving forward. Lucasfilm seemingly hopes to keep the film in its previously-announced May 25, 2018 release date.
Ron Howard takes over as Han Solo director
In the wake of the departure of directors Phil Lord and Christopher Miller from the upcoming Han Solo Star Wars movie, Lucasfilm has officially announced that Oscar-winning filmmaker Ron Howard (A Beautiful Mind, The Da Vinci Code) will take over the troubled project. He was on a very short list of filmmakers that also included the film’s screenwriter and Star Wars vet Lawrence Kasdan (Silverado, Dreamcatcher) -who may have been denied the job due to DGA regulations- and original Star Wars trilogy designer Joe Johnston (The Rocketeer, Captain America: The First Avenger).
“At Lucasfilm, we believe the highest goal of each film is to delight, carrying forward the spirit of the saga that George Lucas began forty years ago,” said Kathleen Kennedy, president of Lucasfilm. “With that in mind, we’re thrilled to announce that Ron Howard will step in to direct the untitled Han Solo film. We have a wonderful script, an incredible cast and crew, and the absolute commitment to make a great movie. Filming will resume the 10th of July.”
With the unprecedented situation of taking over a film three-quarters through shooting, Howard will be placed in the delicate situation of inheriting a cast and crew still rattled by the abrupt firing of Lord and Miller, whose directing style and tonal ideas earned the ire of Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy. Howard will work with Kennedy and screenwriter Lawrence Kasdan to figure out what needs fixing, and will look over a rough cut of the film and meet with the cast this week. Just three weeks were left of the film’s principal photography, with five weeks of reshoots already built into the schedule for later this year.
It remains to be seen how the situation will evolve, and whether Han Solo can keep its previously-announced May 25, 2018 release date. A lot will depend on whether Howard decides to scrap most-or-all of what’s been shot, or simply reshoot certain sections. There’s also the question of Director’s Guild credit should a good deal of Lord and Miller’s footage survive. On one hand you have a Superman II scenario, where Richard Lester took over and only a small percentage of the uncredited Richard Donner’s footage survived, while on the other hand you have a situation like 2002’s The Time Machine, where Gore Verbinski completed the last 18 days of shooting and didn’t take credit. Even on last year’s Rogue One: A Star Wars Story the film’s extensive reshoots were overseen by an uncredited Tony Gilroy, although director Gareth Edwards remained involved. It seems unlikely that Lord and Miller will remain credited on the film given the public nature of their removal.
Howard himself has a long history with Lucasfilm, having starred in George Lucas’s 1973 smash American Graffiti, and directed the Lucas-penned 1988 fantasy Willow. Howard was also reportedly asked at one point by Lucas to direct 1999’s The Phantom Menace, but declined. Although Howard has had a remarkable four-decade career as a director, he is coming off a string of flops (In the Heart of the Sea, The Dilemma) and underperformers (Rush, Inferno).