After one of the most tumultuous behind-the-scenes mix-ups in recent Hollywood history, Disney may be anticipating Solo: A Star Wars Story to be its first failure with the Star Wars franchise.
Months ago, directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller left the film over creative differences with Lucasfilm. They were replaced with veteran director Ron Howard. Firing the directors for such a large-profile movie right in the middle of filming was an unprecedented move by Lucasfilm, and the quality of the movie has been in doubt ever since. Ron Howard ended up having to shoot more footage than he intended, with most of Lord and Miller’s original scenes reshot and the budget almost doubled. Taking all this into account, a new rumor from ScreenGeek says that the studio expects the movie to be a mess.
According to a “source close to the film’s production”, the site reports: “Disney is bracing themselves for the Han Solo movie to bomb. They were worried about it before all The Last Jedi controversy, but now they’re essentially writing Solo off. The lead actor, Alden Ehrenreich, can’t act, and they had a dialogue coach on hand for all of his scenes. On top of that, the script is unworkable. It’s going to be a car crash.”
Word that the studio was unsatisfied with Alden Ehrenreich’s performance was first reported with the news of Lord and Miller’s departure, so this new rumor does line up with earlier reports. It is a little strange to call the script “unworkable”, as not sticking to the script was a major problem Lawrence Kasdan and Kathleen Kennedy had with the original directors. It could be that rewrites have butchered the former vision for the film, meaning Ron Howard couldn’t do anything to save it.
After three critical and financial home-runs, this would be the first real failure the Star Wars franchise has had under Disney. If this is true, and, as always, take it with a grain of salt, it’s good that it happened after three well-received movies. The general audience has already been sold on the main saga films and the idea of Star Wars spin-offs, so this won’t do as much brand damage as it could have. But with lots more spin-offs in the pipeline, including Rian Johnson’s trilogy and the rumored Obi Wan Kenobi and Boba Fett films, this could majorly change how Disney handles the franchise from here on out. Or, the movie could be good. We’ll have to wait and see.
Solo: A Star Wars Story releases on May 25th, 2018.