What Happened When Han Solo Directors Phil Lord And Chris Miller Got Booted From The Set

Harrison Ford as Han Solo

Update: In the time since this article was first published, The Hollywood Reporter's original story was altered to claim the applause that happened after the crew was informed of Lord and Miller's departure and Ron Howard's hiring was more in support of the movie than it was about the duo being replaced. The truth is none of us were on the set, and none of us know exactly what happened or why. Clearly, as you'll read in the story below, there were a lot of issues behind the scenes, and whatever was going on was not working for everyone. You can read the original story in its entirety below...

Pretty much all of Hollywood was shocked when directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller were fired from the upcoming Star Wars Han Solo movie right in the middle of filming. Now, we've got more details on just what happened. Details of clashes between the directors and screenwriter Lawrence Kasdan have already been rumored. However, it seems that the writer wasn't the only one unhappy with the directors' performance. Now, it's being reported that when the fact that Ron Howard was replacing Miller and Lord was announced to the film's crew, they broke out in applause.


To be clear, the story in The Hollywood Reporter is based entirely on unnamed sources, and so little can be done to verify. If it's true, however, then it doesn't paint the best picture of the set. According to these anonymous sources, the improvisational style that Phil Lord and Chris Miller are best known for simply didn't work well on a film of the size and scope of Han Solo. There was a perceived lack of decisiveness from the two which led to crew members waiting around and expecting direction and apparently not getting it.

In addition to these issues, Lord and Miller were reportedly not filming scenes the way Kathleen Kennedy and Lucasfilm were expecting. In at least one case, shooting on the Millennium Falcon set did not begin until 1 PM, despite the fact that both directors had been in the cockpit all day. They were also apparently only shooting scenes from two or three different camera setups, which meant that options in the editing room would be limited. This went against what the studio was expecting as well.

On top of this, we have the previously reported battles between the directors and screenwriter Lawrence Kasdan. Phil Lord and Chris Miller are known for an improvisational style which the man who co-wrote the script did not appreciate, as Kasdan expected his screenplay to be followed word for word. Kasdan flew to London to oversee the production at the behest of Kathleen Kennedy, but when that didn't fix the issues, the decision was made to fire Lord and Miller, leading to the aforementioned applause.

Ron Howard is set to arrive on the set of the Han Solo movie today to pick up where the previous directors left off. While filming was previously expected to wrap in July, it seems that the studio is now expecting filming to run into early September. One THR source says that much of Phil Lord and Chris Miller's work is very usable, though it remains to be seen how much of it will really be used.

The one thing that seems clear, regardless of perspective, is that Phil Lord and Chris Miller were just not the right fit for the Han Solo movie. Their style of direction has undoubtedly produced some great films, but it simply didn't work in this one. The still untitled Han Solo movie is, despite delays, still scheduled for release in May of 2018.

Dirk Libbey
Content Producer/Theme Park Beat

CinemaBlend’s resident theme park junkie and amateur Disney historian. Armchair Imagineer. Epcot Stan. Future Club 33 Member.