How Harrison Ford pitched in on Solo

Harrison Ford may have finished up his run as Han Solo, but he did have some input on Solo, in the form of insight on the character.

“What [Ford] did so beautifully for Alden was he talked a lot about what he remembered when he first read Star Wars, and what George had done with Han. Who the character was and the conversations he had for so many years with George about how that character developed,” [Kathleen] Kennedy says. “He gave Alden that kind of insight which was invaluable. There were several times in the course of making the movie where Alden would actually recount some of the things that Harrison had pointed out. I think that was really, really helpful to him.”

We also get confirmation that Solo is keeping Han’s backstory as an orphan, and how that played into his bond with Rey in The Force Awakens.

Lucasfilm calls up… The Game of Thrones guys?

No, not George R.R. Martin. (He has enough on his plate.)

Today’s big out of left field Star Wars announcement is that Game of Thrones’ David Benioff and D.B. Weiss will “will write and produce” a new series of Star Wars films. The new films won’t be saga films, and they’re also separate from Rian Johnson’s trilogy.

“David and Dan are some of the best storytellers working today,” said Kathleen Kennedy, president of Lucasfilm. “Their command of complex characters, depth of story and richness of mythology will break new ground and boldly push Star Wars in ways I find incredibly exciting.”

I am… More skeptical than usual about this one. I do enjoy Game of Thrones, but there’s plenty that Benioff and Weiss have done with the series that I’m less than gung-ho on. This feels like a very Trevorrowesque decision (more “edgy” white dudes?), and we all know how that turned out… Well, at least there (probably) won’t be any sexposition scenes, but more troubling is that these are dudes who seem to think that Confederate is a good idea.

In a Disney earnings call, CEO Bob Iger says the pair are “focused on a point in time in the Star Wars mythology and taking it from there.”

This does, however, seem to give us a more complete picture of Lucasfilm’s post-Episode IX plans. While I have no doubt we have not see the end of the saga films, a standalone “trilogy” and “series” seems like a good start to fill in a nice big gap… Like perhaps a decade or so?

Kathleen Kennedy would “love” for Taika Waititi to take on Star Wars

Lucasfilm’s Kathleen Kennedy says she would “love” for Thor: Ragnarok director Taika Waititi to direct a Star Wars movie. “I think he has exactly the right sensibility. It was very exciting to see him step into the Marvel universe and do such an amazing job with Thor,” she told Newshub.

Their headline aside, it’s hardly a deal, and given the recent issues with Solo no one would blame Waititi for being wary. But it’s certainly not a bad idea by any means. It just takes the right project, scheduling, and all that boring time-consuming technical stuff.

Report: Colin Trevorrow’s ego torpedoed his shot at Star Wars

Vulture reports on why Colin Trevorrow left Episode IX – per “speculation from a ranking Hollywood movie insider with direct knowledge of the productions on both The Book of Henry and Jurassic World” – that the director’s ego might have gotten in the way. Basically – do not mess with Kathleen Kennedy.

“When the reviews for Book of Henry came out, there was immediately conjecture that Kathy was going to dump him because they weren’t thrilled with working with him anyway,” the executive continues. “He’s a difficult guy. He’s really, really, really confident. Let’s call it that.”

Previous reports claimed script issues were at the source of the split.

Directors Lord and Miller exit Han Solo film (which is still shooting, btw)

I have rolled my eyes at a lot of the so-called “panic” over the Han Solo film, mainly because most of it didn’t actually seem to be about Han Solo. But directors Phil Lord and Christopher Miller leaving due to “creative differences” before the film is even done shooting is concerning, because: Just now?

“It’s become clear that we had different creative visions on this film, and we’ve decided to part ways,” Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy said in a statement. “A new director will be announced soon.” It’s apparently keeping the May 2018 release date, at least for the time being.

This is all very unusual, and I haven’t the slightest idea what to think. (Word is there’s still three more weeks of shooting.) The rumors and thinkpieces will be flying over the next few days. Be cautious! But for the moment, we’re all just going with “what?”

Update #1: Variety is reporting that the two clashed with Kennedy – who fired them – and co-writer/executive producer Lawrence Kasdan. The Hollywood Reporter has more details.

Update #2: Deadline says Ron Howard is a top choice to finish off the film. Kasdan himself is also reportedly a contender.

Adam Driver may be the only person not charmed by a John Boyega hug and other The Last Jedi tidbits

Vanity Fair is following up their blockbuster cover story and portfolio with a number of The Last Jedi sidebars today.

→ First up, how seriously Adam Driver takes his role as Kylo Ren. Includes priceless anecdotes from Mark Hamill and John Boyega.

→ Kathleen Kennedy and Rian Johnson dodge questions about the title.

Rey’s lightsaber is now officially Rey’s lightsaber, says Pablo Hidalgo. (Sorry, Anakin.) And what about Luke’s? (The green one.) Well…

What’s not in The Last Jedi? Romance. There’s “no one-to-one equivalent of the Han-to-Leia, burning, unrequited love.” Johnson says. “In our story, that’s not a centerpiece.” Good.

→ And finally, Kathleen Kenndy on Carrie Fisher, Episode IX, and other future films.