As the fallout continues over the shocking departure of directors Chris Miller and Phil Lord from the upcoming Han Solo Star Wars spin-off, more details are starting to emerge about what prompted the studio to take such drastic action. One report says Lucasfilm was so concerned about Alden Ehrenreich’s performance as the young Han Solo, they brought in an acting coach to help.
To be fair, acting coaches are brought onto films all the time, and their inclusion doesn’t necessarily mean an actor’s performance is “bad.”
More often, an acting coach is hired because an actor isn’t giving the director or producers exactly what they were looking for, and the coach is there to help guide the actor toward the filmmaker’s vision.
What’s unusual about the acting coach hired for Ehrenreich is how late in the production they were hired; filming began in January, but the coach didn’t join the film until earlier this month.
It’s all part of a rapidly unraveling story about the behind-the-scenes turmoil that has plagued the untitled Han Solo film for months and led to the firing of Miller and Lord.
According to some sources, Ehrenreich himself was concerned about his performance and raised concerns early in the process because he felt the directors were going for more of a “slapstick” approach to the character.
In fact, it’s rumored that Ehrenreich compared Miller and Lord’s version of Han Solo to Jim Carrey’s famously ridiculous pet detective, Ace Ventura.
Along with the acting coach, Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy also sent screenwriter Lawrence Kasdan (who co-wrote the Han Solo spin-off with his son, Jon Kasdan) to help right the ship on the troubled production.
When Miller and Lord balked at Kasdan’s involvement, Kennedy fired them. Oscar winner Ron Howard will now direct the movie, but is expected to make use of much of the film already completed by the previous directors.