More Han Solo drama: Lucasfilm hired acting coach for lead Alden Ehrenreich


The drama over the Han Solo stand-alone film continues. Last week, directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller were fired and soon replaced by reliable journeyman Ron Howard. Unfortunately this was six months into production. The directing duo had major creative differences with Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy and screenwriter Lawrence Kasdan over the tone of the movie, which led to this unexpected firing.

The Han Solo debacle between Lord & Miller and Lucasfilm seems like it was a bad match from the get-go, but for some reason no one did anything about it. It turns out the Han Solo movie may have also had some acting problems. With its Han Solo, no less.

According to a new piece by Kim Masters for Heat Vision/The Hollywood Reporter, Lucasfilm hired an acting coach for star Alden Ehrenreich, whose performance reportedly concerned Kennedy and others at Lucasfilm. THR notes that hiring an acting coach isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but it’s not really a good thing so late in production. Rumors from Star Wars News Net said Ehrenreich voiced concerns about Lord and Miller’s directing style and how his performance was being molded by the duo. A source likened Ehrenreich’s comedic performance to Jim Carrey’s from the Ace Ventura films. All righty, then.

In addition to all that, editor Chris Dickens (Macbeth) was nixed and replaced by Pietro Scalia (The Martian, Alien: Covenant).

Franchise filmmaking. Would that it were so simple.

Hail, Caesar! Movie CLIP - Would That It Were So Simple (2016) - Ralph Fiennes Movie HD

Ron Howard has now taken the controls of this shambling bucket of bolts, and needs to complete the project by the first week of September. The movie is still expected to be released on May 28, 2018.

The whole THR piece is worth a read, as it offers additional details about Lord and Miller’s directing style, their reliance on improvisation, their lack of experience around large crews, as well as the unrealistic expectations that Lucasfilm places on their directors in terms of time constraints. With Star Wars running on the Marvel Cinematic Universe model (i.e., producers are like TV showrunners calling the shots), it seems like only certain filmmakers are able to handle these kinds of productions given the scope and quick decision-making involved.

And yet, as the THR piece notes, Rian Johnson seems to have gotten through production on The Last Jedi without any major issues that we know of.

I’m still not interested in a young Han Solo movie, but I would love to see a documentary about the making of this young Han Solo movie. The Men Who Shot Greedo First. Lost Solo. Hans of Darkness. The Falcon of Dreams.

What do you think of all this? Let us know in the comments.

[via THR]

Hubert Vigilla
Brooklyn-based fiction writer, film critic, and long-time editor and contributor for Flixist. A booster of all things passionate and idiosyncratic.