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Han Solo film: Lucasfilm was so concerned about Alden Ehrenreich's performance, an acting coach was hired

Directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller were suddenly fired with only weeks left in production, while Ron Howard was brought in as a replacement

Clarisse Loughrey
Tuesday 27 June 2017 08:14 BST
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In the fallout from Phil Lord and Chris Miller's departure from the Han Solo movie, with Ron Howard in as their replacement, the rumour mill has reached somewhat of a maximum capacity.

A new piece from The Hollywood Reporter has painted a particularly troubling picture of the production, with Lucasfilm's dissatisfactions apparently expanding beyond just the film's directors: sources claim an acting coach was even hired for star Alden Ehrenreich, after his performance failed to please the studio.

Normal for Hollywood productions at large, far less normal for an acting coach to be hired mid-production (and surprising considering his scene-stealing performance in last year's Hail, Caesar!); that's alongside the film's editor Chis Dickens (who worked on Macbeth) being replaced with Oscar-winner Pietro Scalia, a frequent collaborator of Ridley Scott's, having worked on Alien: Covenant.

Elsewhere, the report corroborates and expands on most of the already existing rumours: of frustrations between Lord and Miller believing they were given a lack of "creative freedom", their reliance on improvisation clashing with Lawrence Kasdan's belief the script should be shot as written, and Kathleen Kennedy's discovery the directors were far less pliable than the likes of Gareth Edwards.

Of course, it's important to take all of this with a sense of perspective. This time last year, we were getting the same apparent 'damning rumours' about Rogue One's extensive reshoots; they turned out, essentially, to be true, but to the apparent benefit of the film, which opened to both critical and popular success.

All this - specifically compared to the relative trouble-free productions of the main Star Wars films - does, however, speak to somewhat of a conflicted attitude within Lucasfilm; of wanting both the anthology films to be different, while also showing a reluctance to actually do anything different.

The untitled Han Solo film hits UK cinemas 25 May 2018.

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