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Han Solo Film Loses Its Directors
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WillTasker
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 21, 2017 9:44 am    Post subject: Han Solo Film Loses Its Directors Reply with quote

“Unfortunately, our vision and process weren’t aligned with our partners on this project," said a statement from Phil Lord and Christopher Miller.

http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/heat-vision/star-wars-han-solo-film-loses-directors-1015419

Personally, and in a perfect world, they'd just kill the film outright. We need Han Solo's backstory like we need another Transformers movie; all it will do is make the character more "literal" and remove any mystique he had. Of course this won't happen because Disney is all about squeezing a thing dry until dust seems wet.

Names attached to helm the film include Ron Howard, Joe Johnston (I love his movies, too bad James Horner is no longer with us to score it) and SW scribe Lawrence Kasdan (but he'd be blocked by unions on the old Eastwood rule).
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Solo4114
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 21, 2017 10:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

You can still score the movie and have it feel like a James Horner score. Just take any score he did before and slap it into this film. (Since that's what he tended to do anyway...)

Anyway, snark aside, I smell reshoots. The stuff I read suggests that these guys favored an improvisational style that also involved more comedy, and that this ran counter to what Kasdan's take on the character is. So, if anything, Disney is trying to keep things more in line with what we've seen rather than taking it in a different direction. IF you're going to make this movie, I think that's the right call.

That said, I'd rather this movie had never been greenlit. Go ahead and tell a smuggler underworld movie, but do it with someone else who only briefly meets Solo, maybe, if you have to include Solo at all.

Unless this film becomes a vehicle by which they launch stories about those side characters, I see no reason for it.
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Whill
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 21, 2017 11:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ANH is my favorite movie and Han Solo is my favorite SW character, but I'm far less cynical than you two. I think it is possible to find a happy medium between revealing nothing about Han Solo's pre-ANH past and ruining the mystique of the character. I feel a young Han Solo story can easily jump in at some point in his 20s without a whole lot of detail about his past before that and still tell an interesting story about pre-Rebellion Han. How many movies are there out there like that, where they reveal almost nothing about the protagonist's origins and upbringings but still give a sense of who the character is and make you interested in the story you find him in? Lots. The Han Solo movie is supposed to have a western and heist movie feel. This movie is not described as a Han Solo origin film. I'm pretty sure it's not a biographical retrospective with old Han narrating the story of his life, like some sort of "Young Han Solo Chronicles". How many adventures do you imagine Han having before he got involved with the Rebellion in ANH? I imagine quite a lot. Not that I want a whole Solo film series, but I imagine Han having a lot of possible adventures before ANH that do not involve any aspect of Han's origin and upbringing.

I think Joe Johnston would be good. Director of Captain America: The first Avenger. Involved with Star Wars since ANH. Ron Howard could be good. I like several of his movies but he recently made Inferno which was not good.
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WillTasker
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 22, 2017 8:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The problem is small universe syndrome (a friend coined that term, wish I could take credit for it), where by knowing so many details and having so many characters interconnected, the whole universe seems increasingly centered on a smaller group, the larger it gets. The prequels were very guilty of this (and I enjoy them), where we have scenes where Chewbacca meets Yoda for no real reason. Similar,y, we don't need to see how Han met Lando, or how Chewie met Han or any of that.

We don't need to know about Han's past. No amount of good movie making is going to supplant the collective wonder people have had for 40 years about this character but it will take only a little bad movie making to soil whats come before.

You are entirely right that this is based on cynicism though, but that cynicism is based on the experiences of other media (EU towards the end, other Hollywood franchises) and other films (Episode VII) that its becoming more obvious that they (Disney? Lucasfilm? Kathleen Kennedy?) don't know how to work this machine very well except by throwing sabots into it on occasion.
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Falconer
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 22, 2017 10:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Brian Daley’s novels are very successful in making the universe seem larger, not smaller. It’s just Han and Chewie having adventures all across the galaxy, in far flung places and interacting with many characters, none of which has anything to do with anything featured in the movies, while still nailing the feel of the characters and the tech and the genre. They are not backstory, just stories.

The inclusion of Lando in the upcoming Solo film gives me pause, making me think it will include the sabaac game and the Kessel Run and everything else we know about Han’s backstory; but, not necessarily.
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WillTasker
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 22, 2017 11:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Falconer wrote:
Brian Daley’s novels are very successful in making the universe seem larger, not smaller. It’s just Han and Chewie having adventures all across the galaxy, in far flung places and interacting with many characters, none of which has anything to do with anything featured in the movies, while still nailing the feel of the characters and the tech and the genre. They are not backstory, just stories.

The inclusion of Lando in the upcoming Solo film gives me pause, making me think it will include the sabaac game and the Kessel Run and everything else we know about Han’s backstory; but, not necessarily.


I absolutely love those Brian Daley books - but before someone cries "hypocrite!", let me say the reason they're so good is that they're so close to the pulp mentality of ANH. They're (and I mean this in the best way) throw away stories - simply a fun adventure - and not *justification for the character's existence* which is what a lot of these newer films seem to be about (not just Star Wars films, either). The difference is subtle but important.

All that said, I sincerely hope I am proven wrong and that I love this movie or even like it as much as I did Rogue One - but I doubt it.
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Sutehp
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 22, 2017 2:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My take on this is that it's far too early to tell if the film will be bad or good. For myself, I wouldn't mind at all a Han Solo origin story that tells of how he met Chewie or Lando, though I'm less sanguine of telling both stories in the same movie. Of course, I have absolutely no problem with seeing the sabacc(sp?) game where Han wins the Falcon from Lando; I think fans are expecting to see that in the upcoming movie at the very least. (At least I am, anyway.)

But if this movie turns out to be a pre-ANH Han Solo heist movie rather than a pre-ANH Han Solo origin movie, I'm fine with that too. The main reason I'm going to see this movie is because Emilia Clarke is in it. What can I say, I'm a big fan of Khaleesi. Mr. Green

Could this movie suck? Sure, and the loss of the directors isn't a good sign. But, it could turn out to be awesome or at least good enough to be worthy of being in the Star Wars saga. In any case, it's far too soon to tell (we're at least a year away from seeing this movie, FFS!) whether or not this movie will suck, so I'm reserving judgment.
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WillTasker
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 22, 2017 3:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sutehp wrote:
Could this movie suck? Sure, and the loss of the directors isn't a good sign.


I will fully admit I am already eating crow considering they replaced the first directors with Ron Howard.
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Sutehp
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 22, 2017 7:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

WillTasker wrote:
Sutehp wrote:
Could this movie suck? Sure, and the loss of the directors isn't a good sign.


I will fully admit I am already eating crow considering they replaced the first directors with Ron Howard.


I don't know anything about Ron Howard except that he used to be in the Happy Days TV show and has a longstanding rep as a successful director. Yeah, I'm breathing a sigh of relief myself after hearing this news.
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Whill
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 23, 2017 12:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

WillTasker wrote:
The prequels were very guilty of this (and I enjoy them), where we have scenes where Chewbacca meets Yoda for no real reason. Similar,y, we don't need to see how Han met Lando, or how Chewie met Han or any of that.

We don't need to know about Han's past. No amount of good movie making is going to supplant the collective wonder people have had for 40 years about this character but it will take only a little bad movie making to soil whats come before.

You are entirely right that this is based on cynicism

No. One bad movie can not "soil" what's come before. If it sucks, it can easily be ignored. You're sounding like one those "Lucas raped my childhood" types as if Lucas actually had a time machine and changed what had came before. When Disney hit the reset button on the EU, it didn't actually erase your Star Wars library from existence like Back to the Future. Nothing in the present or future can alter the past. Time travel is impossible. If you let something soil what came before, the issue is you, not it.

Granted, Chewbacca knowing Yoda in RotS was new and "small world" and served no purpose (but I still loved seeing Chewie anyway). But what if the Han Solo film shows how Chewie hooked up with Han? What if it shows Han winning the Falcon from Lando? We already know those things happened. I doubt the movie is going to go into Han's childhood like The Paradise Snare did. I'll bet the canon Solo will still have a lot more mystique left than the EU Solo did.

You say "we don't need" as if you speak for everyone, but you don't. Not everyone let's something ruin something else. And, this cynicism as prejudice. In my experience, when people expect to not like something, they tend not to. You're poisoning yourself to something in advance when you could just keep an open mind and wait until you see it to judge it. Expecting not to like something is a self-fulfilling prophecy. Maybe now that it's in Ron Howard's hands you can give it a chance?

Sutehp wrote:
WillTasker wrote:
I will fully admit I am already eating crow considering they replaced the first directors with Ron Howard.

I don't know anything about Ron Howard except that he used to be in the Happy Days TV show and has a longstanding rep as a successful director. Yeah, I'm breathing a sigh of relief myself after hearing this news.

You don't know anything about Ron Howard?! Have you not seen The Da Vinci Code? Angels & Demons? Apollo 13? Willow? Backdraft? A Beautiful Mind? Far And Away? He directed all of those.
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Bren
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 23, 2017 12:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Whill wrote:
You don't know anything about Ron Howard?! Have you not seen The Da Vinci Code? Angels & Demons? Apollo 13? Willow? Backdraft? A Beautiful Mind? Far And Away? He directed all of those.
I already knew he was a competent director, but honestly I don't see that resume as reassuring for directing space opera. The only thing close tonally was Willow and that movie stunk.

My view on the movies is that Disney is going to wring as much cash from the cow as they can in the way that most makes sense to the execs. That probably means there will be more Star Wars movies than I really want to see in any given period of time. (Just like there are now more superhero movies than I will see in any given period of time. But Dark Side adepts aside no one is going to Force me to attend a movie I don't want to see. So if there are too many films I can wait for them to show up on cable, Amazon, or Netflix.

But so far, Disney has produced 2 watchable Star Wars films. The Force Awakens was OK (about the level of quality of the prequels) and I really liked Rogue One. All the characters were engaging and I found the ending pleasantly refreshing. I went into the film knowing nothing about the ending so it was a surprise for me. I expected a last minute save for some of the characters almost up until the time they were killed.

The fact that Disney was willing to produce a movie with a significantly different tone (Rogue One) does mean that we can't predict what kind of Han Solo story we are going to get. But I can make old age work for me and just forget anything that conflicts too much with my earlier memories of Star Wars. Laughing
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Sutehp
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 23, 2017 2:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bren wrote:
My view on the movies is that Disney is going to wring as much cash from the cow as they can in the way that most makes sense to the execs. That probably means there will be more Star Wars movies than I really want to see in any given period of time. (Just like there are now more superhero movies than I will see in any given period of time. But Dark Side adepts aside no one is going to Force me to attend a movie I don't want to see. So if there are too many films I can wait for them to show up on cable, Amazon, or Netflix.

But so far, Disney has produced 2 watchable Star Wars films. The Force Awakens was OK (about the level of quality of the prequels) and I really liked Rogue One. All the characters were engaging and I found the ending pleasantly refreshing. I went into the film knowing nothing about the ending so it was a surprise for me. I expected a last minute save for some of the characters almost up until the time they were killed.

The fact that Disney was willing to produce a movie with a significantly different tone (Rogue One) does mean that we can't predict what kind of Han Solo story we are going to get. But I can make old age work for me and just forget anything that conflicts too much with my earlier memories of Star Wars. Laughing


I think part of the appeal of R1 was that, yes, it was a total party kill and that's a huge departure from all the previous films where Luke, Leia, Han Chewie and the droids always make it out alive...at least until TFA where Han got kakked. Seeing so many Heroic Sacrifices, not just by Jyn and Co., but by so many other Rebels at the Battle of Scarif, was especially poignant and really drives home how much was given up just to get the Death Star plans.

As for "too many films," I remember having to wait three years between films, to say nothing of the interminable eternity of having to wait between RotJ and TPM, so I have absolutely no problem with the idea of a Star Wars movie every year for the next few years. Either they'll be great and I'll go see them multiple times both in the theatre and at home once its on bluray, or they'll suck and I'll still go see them just once in the theatre then decide they suck and just have them in the DVD collection and never watch them again. Either way, I'm fine with it.

Whill wrote:
Sutehp wrote:
WillTasker wrote:
I will fully admit I am already eating crow considering they replaced the first directors with Ron Howard.

I don't know anything about Ron Howard except that he used to be in the Happy Days TV show and has a longstanding rep as a successful director. Yeah, I'm breathing a sigh of relief myself after hearing this news.

You don't know anything about Ron Howard?! Have you not seen The Da Vinci Code? Angels & Demons? Apollo 13? Willow? Backdraft? A Beautiful Mind? Far And Away? He directed all of those.


Apollo 13 and Backdraft I've seen, though I only have Apollo 13 on BluRay. The rest I haven't bothered with. I'm decidedly indifferent to Dan Brown so forget anything that's Da Vinci Code-related.

Of course, if he's directing the Han Solo film, I will gladly add that to the small list of Ron Howard works I'm familiar with. But yeah, I'll echo Bren's concern: here's hoping Ron Howard knows what he's about when it comes to space opera.

Oh! Something else I just remembered about Ron Howard: he did a guest appearance on The Simpsons as a contestant on Hollywood Squares. Homer called him "Drunkie" as I recall. Mr. Green
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 23, 2017 12:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I too am glad that the Han Solo... solo film was greenlit, and agree with Whill that this film needn't be an origin story, and that an in-medias-res "day in the life" tale is (almost) equally possible. Can't wait really.

That said, I am also glad to hear that, if the rumors are to be believed, an increased focus on comedy was nipped in the bud. The comedy should be naturally arising, but purposefully skewing more so toward it runs the risk of making Han more like the "comedy relief" Solo we saw through most of RotJ.

While I am not the biggest fan of Ron Howard, I would certainly support Joe Johnston! Not only was he a major concept artist for the OG Star Wars and director of Captain America: The First Avenger, he is also the director of The Rocketeer -- one of my old favorites, as well as (while we're on the topic) a film with one of the best James Horner scores (right up there with his excellent work for Glory).

And while we're also on the topic(ish) of film score composers, Jerry Goldsmith was pretty guilty of same-scoreyness, and as much as I love early-to-mid-career Danny Elfman (Beetlejuice/Batman/Scissorhands era), his more recent scores became more and more so shadows of his former work (not unlike frequent collaborator Tim Burton's latest films), and these latter scores sound practically identical to one another.
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Whill
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 23, 2017 11:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I wasn't stating part of Ron Howard's resume as any sort of argument for the appropriateness of his selection a Star Wars director. I was merely reacting to Sutehp indicating he knew almost nothing of his body of work.

I still make no predictions for Han Solo other other than my unchanged very general optimism that the next three Star Wars movies will be good. If the fourth one is an inter-trilogy Obi-Wan film with Ewan McGregor, I'll probably extend my optimistic hope to that one too. I can't imagine Disney maintaining the quality for too long, especially if they keep pumping out one film a year. I think every other year would be ideal as long as they have good Star Wars movies to make.

I had no specific hopes or expectations attached to the two fired directors. They had a short filmography like Gareth Edwards and Rogue One turned out great (with Lucasfilm-mandated reshoots for tone). I trusted the process that hired the Han Solo guys, so I trust the leadership that let them go. If the rumors are true that they were turning Han Solo into a comedy, then it was probably a very wise decision to get rid of them.

Joes Johnston would have been good too. I totally understand their desire to have a big name director to take over at this point for the sake of fan expectation. If they fired smaller name directors and replaced them with smaller name directors, many fans would have lamented that the project was "doomed". Ron Howard alleviates fears because it shows that Lucasfilm is serious about making Han Solo a success. Will Opie Cunningham make it a good movie? We'll see. My biggest fear is that the release date will be pushed back to December becoming the fourth Star Wars film in a row that's been delayed from a May release. I'm so tired of mixing new Star Wars with the holidays. I can't wait for them to return to May where Star Wars is supposed to be!

To one extent or another, I liked all of the Ron Howard movies I named above. No, none of them are counted as my favorite movies. I don't love but do like Willow. But there have been a handful of his movies I've seen that I didn't care for. After liking the first two Dan Brown movies I was really disappointed with Inferno.

If Han Solo is a good script with a good cast and crew, it is certainly possible that it could be great with Ron Howard.
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 24, 2017 12:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Whill wrote:
I had no specific hopes or expectations attached to the two fired directors. They had a short filmography like Gareth Edwards and Rogue One turned out great (with Lucasfilm-mandated reshoots for tone). I trusted the process that hired the Han Solo guys, so I trust the leadership that let them go. If the rumors are true that they were turning Han Solo into a comedy, then it was probably a very wise decision to get rid of them.


This. Yes, Han Solo has plenty of comedic moments but he is in no way a comedic figure. Think about his first Establishing Character Moment back in ANH. Depending on the version you like, he's a guy who shot dead a thug either in self-defense (because Greedo fired first...yeech) or pragmatically blew away a thug who had him at gunpoint and was dumb enough to let Han's hands out of sight (Yes, Lucas, Han shot first). That wasn't a comedic moment at all (unless you're inclined to laugh at Greedo's stupidity, but that's another matter). That moment showed that, when the chips are down, Han will kill you if you threaten him with lethal force. That's not the sort of thing you can Play For Laughs throughout an entire movie. (Well, not if you want to make a good movie, anyway.)

Whill wrote:
If Han Solo is a good script with a good cast and crew, it is certainly possible that it could be great with Ron Howard.


Also true. Like I said, Ron Howard has a good rep as a director (even if I haven't seen much of his stuff), so this could very well turn out to be a great movie. Then again, it might very well suck, just as people were afraid that TFA would suck. Hell, even J.J. Abrams was more than a bit worried about how TFA would do. I still remember the interview he did where he opined about people telling him (the rough equivalent of) "If you f*** this up, we'll kill you." Indeed. Abrams understood the awesome responsibility he had in helming TFA. Edwards also understood it when he directed R1. I have no doubt that Ron Howard will or, more likely, given his rep as an experienced director, already does understand this responsibility he's inheriting by helming a Star Wars film.

It's still way too early to know if this Han Solo movie will suck or be awesome, but if it does wind up sucking, it won't be because of a lack of effort on Ron Howard's part (or so I hope, anyway).
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