Yesterday Vulture shed new light on the troubled production of Solo: A Star Wars Story, courtesy of a mysterious actor they spoke with. But before we start speculating on who it could be, here’s a refresher: Last summer Lucasfilm fired the original co-directors of the Han Solo prequel film, The Lego Movie’s Phil Lord and Chris Miller, citing the typical “creative differences.” With about three-quarters of the principal photography completed, veteran director Ron Howard was quickly hired to oversee the rest. So what was going on behind the scenes?
Well, according to the shadowy source, whom I will now refer to as “Sith Throat,” Lord & Miller were better suited to light comedy and weren’t prepared to handle a production of this kind of scope.
Where Lord and Miller would typically demand more than 30 takes of a given scene — seemingly unsure of what they wanted other than a delivery “different” from the last — Howard got the job done in no more than two or three takes. “Phil and Chris are good directors, but they weren’t prepared for Star Wars,” says our source. “After the 25th take, the actors are looking at each other like, ‘This is getting weird.’ [Lord and Miller] seemed a bit out of control. They definitely felt the pressure; with one of these movies, there are so many people on top of you all the time. The first assistant director was really experienced and had to step in to help them direct a lot of scenes.” (Joy Fehily, a spokesperson for Miller and Lord says: “This information is completely inaccurate,” but declined to cite specific inaccuracies.
There was method to their madness, however. Apparently, the pair liked having so many takes so they had options when it came time to edit. Unfortunately, Lucasfilm wasn’t impressed by that approach, and to make matters worse, they didn’t feel the directors were getting the desired performance from Han Solo himself, Alden Ehrenreich.
In March 2017 the studio took the nearly unprecedented move of hiring an acting coach to help star Alden Ehrenreich more convincingly channel Ford’s swashbuckling affect in the original three Star Wars movies. “Trying to mimic Harrison Ford is really tough,” our source says. “Lucasfilm wanted something very specific: copying someone else. Alden’s not a bad actor — just not good enough.”
By contrast, Howard’s steady hand was an immediate improvement:
“When he came on, he took control and you could feel it,” the actor says. “He got respect immediately. He’s really confident. A really easy guy to work with.”
Check out the full article for more context to the juicy behind-the-scenes drama, including the financial expectations and cast reactions to the shake-ups, but for now, let’s shift our focus to the source. What do we know about Sith Throat? Well, it’s a he, apparently, who “declined to be identified because he is not authorized to publicly discuss the movie at this time.” Apparently, the source worked on the film for four months under Lord & Miller, and was on set again under Howard. And, perhaps most intriguing is this description:
Although not one of the film’s marquee stars, this source was in a prime position to observe the directors’ contrasting on-set modi operandi.
It sounds like it’s definitely not Alden Ehrenreich, or (sadly) Donald Glover, as New-Lando is arguably gearing up to be the biggest star of the whole thing. So who’s left? We can cross all the ladies off our list (sorry Emilia Clarke, Phoebe Waller-Bridge, and Thandie Newton!). And we’re left with a few interesting options…
— Woody Harrelson: Honestly, I just feel like he’s at the point in his career where he does not give a fuck and would absolutely spill the tea on his latest paycheck if they took him out for drinks first. This isn’t one of his passion projects. This is what he does so he can afford to make stuff like The Glass Castle.
— Warwick Davis: Dude has been around the Star Wars block before, and while I don’t think he’d burn that bridge, I’m including him because I want to formally encourage him to dish alllllll the hot goss when he’s ready.
— Jon Favreau: As a director himself, Favreau would have an interesting perspective on the production side of things. Especially when you remember that he wasn’t asked to direct the third Iron Man film after the second one, ah, happened under his watch…
— Paul Bettany: I mean, I have no reason to think Bettany did this. Except that he IS probably on the promo tour for the upcoming Avengers film right now, which would bring him in front of plenty of journalists …
What do you think? Am I missing a likely spy? And does any of this matter? I mean, personally, I don’t care if the movie is good or not — I’m gonna see it for Glover’s Lando capelet regardless.