SC Reviews has an interesting perspective on the recent Esquire interview with Alden Ehrenreich:
Of Lord and Miller, Ehrenreich says, “They had a different style than Ron in terms of the way we were working.” He’s not sure what their Solo would have been like. He liked the script. He liked them as directors. He can’t say whether they were really taking an Apatovian riffs-over-script approach. “From the first screen test on, we played around with it a lot. We tried a lot of different things, rethinking behind the scenes,” he says. “That was yielding a different movie than the other factions wanted. I knew what I was doing, but in terms of what that adds up to, you’re so in the dark as an actor. You don’t know what it’s shaping up to be, how they’re editing it, so it’s kind of impossible without having seen those things to know what the difference [of opinion] was, or exactly what created those differences.”
He wasn’t told that Lord and Miller were being replaced until it happened, he says. The directors themselves told him almost immediately. “They said, ‘We were let go,’ and that’s it. They had mentioned there were some disagreements before, but they didn’t get into it. They wished me the best with the rest of the movie. On a personal level, it felt emotional, for them to be going after we’d set out on that course together. Because I spent a lot of time with them, and we had a really good relationship—they also cast me. But I think at that point, they were kind of on board with [the decision], too. Like, ‘This is what’s happening.’ That’s not what they said to me, but that was the vibe I got.”
Ehrenreich says the fan-press rumor that it was he who approached Kennedy with concerns about Lord and Miller is “not at all” true, that he couldn’t imagine ever making a call like that “unless people were being put in danger or something.”
He also insists that the story about Lucasfilm forcing Lord and Miller to bring in an acting coach—later identified as writer- director Maggie Kiley—to work on his performance has been mischaracterized: “She was part of conversations that happened for a couple weeks at one point,” Ehrenreich says, “but that was basically it.” (Lord and Miller say that Kiley is someone they’d worked with on previous films and that they brought her on Solo as a resource for the entire cast as well as themselves.) As for the various stories about the Solo crew breaking into spontaneous applause upon hearing of Howard’s appointment or (depending on which account you read) Lord and Miller’s firing?
The production went dark for almost three weeks between Lord and Miller’s sacking and Howard’s arrival. “It was this period of going, What if they get somebody that you don’t get along with? What if they get somebody that has a totally different vision?” Ehrenreich admits. But he adds that Howard won over the cast and crew quickly.
“Everybody’s hackles are raised a bit, and Ron had this ability to come in and deal with morale and get everybody enthusiastic about, A, what we’d already shot, because I think his feeling was that a lot of what we’d already done was really good, and, B, the direction for the next piece of it. He knew how to navigate a tricky situation, and almost from the first or second day everybody pretty quickly recharged and got excited again about the movie.” (Lord and Miller ended up with executive-producer credits on the film. Everyone involved is cagey about how much of their material ended up in the final cut.)
It’s interesting that these sentiments towards Lord & Miller, are similar to sentiments expressed previously be fellow cast members who also worked under the duo on this film.
“I will tell you this much though,” Williams adds. “What saddens me most is I was very proud of the work that I did. What I believe I have created with Emilia Clarke and Woody Harrelson and Alden [Ehrenreich, who plays Solo]… I thought it was some great work. We was on the spaceship, and we all had these amazing scenes together, and I thought it was a great opportunity, and I thought it was some great stuff. It’s unfortunate the world won’t get to see it.” – Michael K. Williams
People who worked with Lord & Miller on this film, seem to have good things to say about their experiences.
Ethan Van Sciver, puts forth the theory that Alden Eherenreich also has a bit of a beef with Ron Howard, and that it was Ron Howard himself who leaked rumors that Alden couldn’t act. Ethan also suggests that the reason that Alden let it slip that he’s signed up for three films, is that perhaps Lucasfilm may be looking to fire Alden, if Ron Howard doesn’t particularly care for him.
I’d only add, that if any of this is the case, then we should start to see comments from other cast and crew members echoing issues with Ron Howard. The truth will eventually come out, because it always does.
In all of this though, I can’t help but think of Lord & Miller’s reactions and responses about the casting of Alden in the following video. They don’t really appear to be too happy about the topic. Something seems amiss and awkward with regards to Alden’s casting.