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What's news: The conflicts on Lucasfilm's Han Solo spinoff are coming into focus as details leak. Plus: Early reviews for Fox's War for the Planet of the Apes are stellar, T.J. Miller exits Silicon Valley with a scorched-earth interview after the season finale and a hand-drawn Disney map draws an auction record. — Matthew Belloni, Erik Hayden and Jennifer Konerman
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What really happened on the set of the Lucasfilm Han Solo spinoff that led to the firing of Phil Lord and Chris Miller? Kim Masters has plenty of new details:
As soon as shooting got underway, insiders say, it started to become clear that Kathleen Kennedy’s stated intention of hiring directors who would put their own spin on Star Wars movies had led to a mismatch. Some insiders say that while the talent of Lord and Miller is undeniable, nothing in their background prepared them for a movie of this size and scope.
These sources say they relied too heavily on the improvisational style that served them so well in live-action comedy and animation but does not work on a set with hundreds of crew members waiting for direction. “You have to make decisions much earlier than what they’re used to,” one of these sources says. “I don’t know if it’s because there were two of them but they were not decisive.”
Production department heads began to complain. While the pair appeared to listen when told of festering problems, this person says their approach did not change. But the source close to Lord and Miller acknowledges they have always worked in an improvisational style and not just add comedic elements.
"They collaborate closely with their actors and give them creative freedom that, in their experience, brings out the actors' best performances," this person says. "Lawrence Kasdan would not allow this and demanded that every line was said word for word. To appease him and the studio, Lord and Miller would do several takes exactly as written and then shoot additional takes." Much more here.
Acting coach hired for Han Solo star. Not entirely satisfied with the performance that the directors were eliciting from Rules Don't Apply star Alden Ehrenreich, Lucasfilm decided to bring in an acting coach. (Hiring a coach is not unusual; hiring one that late in production is.) Lord and Miller suggested writer-director Maggie Kiley, who worked with them on 21 Jump Street.
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