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The story of how directors Phil Lord and Christopher Miller were fired from Solo: A Star Wars Story and replaced by Ron Howard as a last minute directorial swap is going to become an infamous footnote in the history of both the Disney owned franchise and Hollywood filmmaking in general. But because the Star Wars franchise is so regulated and well staffed, the director switch happened pretty seamlessly. Who would know better than frequent Ron Howard collaborator and Solo co-star Paul Bettany? He made the following remarks:
You always come on to a film set at different times and in different moments and it felt very normal and the cast was very welcoming. Ron has a very steady hand. You needed that --- the ship had been sailing without a captain for a minute. But that can also be overstated. There are lots of people that make movies. It's not just the director. There are really strong producers on those films and you'll have a 2nd unit running with a 2nd unit director. I think the whole thing has been less dramatic and traumatic for everyone than it may appear to have been in the press.
There was quite a big reaction to the news that previous directors Phil Lord and Christopher Miller were being fired by Star Wars czar Kathleen Kennedy. The announcement was a pretty shocking surprise, and things got even more interesting with the hiring of Ron Howard. When the dust settled, some thought the whole scenario looked like the new kids were being kicked out, only for the establishment was installing one of its own. While from the outside it seemed like the Solo set was in chaos, Paul Bettany feels that nothing of the sort was present during the film's shoot.
Paul Bettany's thoughts should be accompanied with the caveat, that much like Ron Howard, the Avengers: Infinity War actor was a last minute addition to correct the course of the film. Originally, Michael K. Williams was playing Dryden Vos, but unfortunately he couldn't return for reshoots to his Solo: A Star Wars Story role post directorial replacement. Yet even with this exception, Paul Bettany's comments to Deadline help illuminate that time on the Solo set.
Directors aren't the only people who make a movie happen. At the same time, communication problems with the collaborators or a lack of vision could also end a movie before it begins. Like him or not, Ron Howard is a proven personality that knows how to play well with others, while keeping a production's engines purring and driving towards completion.