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.

So many photos! The Vanity Fair spread is live

Vanity Fair’s full spread and story is up! You need to go check it out, but here’s a quick rundown what we’ve learned: Laura Dern is Vice Admiral Amilyn Holdo of the Resistance, and Benicio Del Toro doesn’t get a name at all in the film – though they’re calling him DJ. (Seeeecretsss.) And yes, there are pictures of both. Kelly Marie Tran’s Rose Tico has a sister, Paige, a Resistance gunner, played by Veronica Ngo. And the planet filmed in Dubrovnik is indeed named Canto Bright. “I was thinking, O.K., let’s go ultra-glamour. Let’s create a playground, basically, for rich assholes,” director Rian Johnson said.

The article also includes some touching tributes to (and photos of) Carrie Fisher, so keep the tissues handy.

Writer David Kamp will be answering questions about the story on Reddit later today.

New alien reveal; Third spinoff news to hopefully come in the summer

There was nothing about any of the upcoming spin-off films at Celebration, but we did get this “behind the scenes” look at the Han Solo film with Warwick Davis and directors Christopher Miller and Phil Lord, who revealed a new alien.


Meanwhile, Kathleen Kennedy clarified the faux-issue about Han’s name for MTV’s Josh Horowitz. “It’s obviously his name,” she said. “It will always be his name.” She also hopes to announce the third spinoff film “this summer.”

And finally, here’s a rumor that a prequel-era character may appear in the Han film. (I am side-eyeing this one a bit, but stranger things have happened.)

Hayden Christensen returning to Celebration for Star Wars’ 40th Anniversary

Hayden Christensen will be returning to Celebration for the first time since 2002 as part of the 40th Anniversary panel, joining Mark Hamill, Ian McDiarmid, Billy Dee Williams, Anthony Daniels, Peter Mayhew, Dave Filoni and Kathleen Kennedy. “Many galactic-sized surprises” are still being promised, but this is a fairly big one. (And yes, he’s signing.)

In other Celebration news, there’s now more previews up for the Store, mostly t-shirts.

Celebration’s The Last Jedi panel will be Friday, April 14

To the surprise of no one, Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy and director Rian Johnson will be on a Celebration Orlando panel on Friday, April 14. The Last Jedi panel is expected debut the film’s first trailer, or at the very least a behind-the-scenes feature, as the con is expected to launch the movie’s first wave of publicity. Expect some other “special guests” to appear as well.

For the past few Celebrations, the first big movie panel has featured the upcoming release, while a second on Sunday focuses on the other upcoming films.

The new Star Wars Show also features more Rogue One behind-the-scenes and a visit to Sideshow.


UPDATE: Johnson took the occasion to post a new behind-the-scenes shot on Tumblr:

http://rcjohnso.tumblr.com/post/157290828820/were-coming-to-orlando-for-a-star

THR takes a (brief) look at Lucasfilm’s executive women

lfl-execs

As part of their Women in Entertainment issue, The Hollywood Reporter has an article on how Lucasfilm’s executive team is more than 50% female.

“When you have a balance of men and women, there are all sorts of things that enter into the discussion,” [Kathleen Kennedy] says, calling the Rey-Jyn doubleheader a “coincidence” that the studio (and parent Disney) embraced. “Because women are always in story meetings, [no one has] to go, ‘Hey, what would a woman think?’ ” says creative executive Rayne Roberts. “The reason Rey is strong and technically capable and compassionate and driven is that the women who were in that room, including Kathy, reflect those qualities.”

There’s still work to be done – the lack of women directing is mentioned – but there are worse places to start than at the top. Still, the article is pretty short – wouldn’t it be nice to see a deeper dive on this topic?