Disney is asking for privacy at this difficult time as they prepare for the arrival of Solo: A Star Wars Story. Even given the respectful silence , here and there you will find painful reminders that, there is, in fact, a Star Wars movie opening on May 25th.
One of them is this listing for The Art of Solo A Star Wars story on Amazon. Impressionist artwork suggests that the film stars a human male and a large, furry alien, something like a dog/orangutan cross. Little else is known about the film which has been shrouded in secrecy since a tragic accident on the set, in which two unprepared directors were hired to make a Star Wars movie about the most beloved character in the canon with Kathleen Kennedy and Lawrence Kasdan watching closely
A few hints about the tragedy can be gleaned from internet postings.
This morning it was revealed that Denny’s will be serving a Solo-based menu, complete with collector cards. Denny’s food and corporate policies are tragic in themselves, but the cards suggested a colorful world that was once envisioned as a playful, enjoyable movie.
As you may recall, Solo’s doomed journey began when Lego Movie directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller were hired to make a film starring Alden Ehrenreich. Shockingly, after nearly the entire movie was complete, Miller and Lord were unceremoniously removed from the premises, after doing things like improvising on the set.
Ron “Apollo 13” Howard was brought in to wear a baseball cap, look avuncular, and comfort stunned cast members and studio heads. Apparently he reshot practically the whole movie.
While a respectful silence has covered most of the disaster, a piece in Vulture – purported to be a “leak” but obviously a planned one that sought to craft a narrative for the survivors – laid out what went wrong and why Ron Howard was the right person to bring in:
>>>To hear our source tell it, the main difference between the co-directors’ filmmaking style and Howard’s boiled down to efficiency. Where Lord and Miller would typically demand more than 30 takes of a given scene — seemingly unsure of what they wanted other than a delivery “different” from the last — Howard got the job done in no more than two or three takes. “Phil and Chris are good directors, but they weren’t prepared for Star Wars,” says our source. “After the 25th take, the actors are looking at each other like, ‘This is getting weird.’ [Lord and Miller] seemed a bit out of control. They definitely felt the pressure; with one of these movies, there are so many people on top of you all the time. The first assistant director was really experienced and had to step in to help them direct a lot of scenes.” (Joy Fehily, a spokesperson for Miller and Lord says: “This information is completely inaccurate,” but declined to cite specific inaccuracies. She also declined to make the directors available for an interview.)
In Hollywood terms, this “leak” is what we call “a burial.”
However Miller revealed that he wouldn’t go gently into directing more for TV with this utterly devastating come back:
Maybe don’t believe everything you read
— Chris Miller (@chrizmillr) March 27, 2018
Proving that he is the right man to deliver the message of comfort that a nation needs, Howard later assured everyone that there would actually be a movie, as it was in final edits:
— Ron Howard (@RealRonHoward) March 31, 2018
Howard has also assured survivors that there WILL BE another trailer, the kind of assurance that is usually unnecessary with studio franchise tentpoles, but is not the case with Solo as everyone wants to get it over with as quickly and painlessly as possible, kind of like a chest hair wax.
Despite the devastation wrought by the Solo tragedy, there is believed to be one survivor: Donald Glover’s career. His Lando Calrissian appears to be the hotter than a sidewalk in Atlanta in July.
Funeral rites for Solo will be held May 25th at a theater near you.
Heidi MacDonald is the founder and editor in chief of The Beat. In the past, she worked for Disney, DC Comics, Fox and Publishers Weekly. She can be heard regularly on the More To Come Podcast. She likes coffee, cats and noble struggle.