This morning, Vulture's running a report wherein an unnamed actor who worked on both versions of Solo: A Star Wars Story (the one mostly directed by Phil Lord and Chris Miller, which was then followed by an extensively-reshot version helmed by Ron Howard) spills their guts about the various shenanigans that took place throughout production.
Lord and Miller's penchant for shooting dozens of takes, for instance...
"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.”
Or the fact that an acting coach was brought in for leading man Alden Ehrenreich...
"In March 2017 the studio took the nearly unprecedented move of hiring an acting coach to help star Alden Ehrenreich more convincingly channel Ford’s swashbuckling affect in the original three Star Wars movies. “Trying to mimic Harrison Ford is really tough,” our source says. “Lucasfilm wanted something very specific: copying someone else. Alden’s not a bad actor — just not good enough.”
Or this anecdote, about how the entire cast and crew were informed of the regime change...
“It was crazy,” the actor recalls. “They fired our bosses. Everyone was texting each other: ‘Did you see the news? Do you think they’re doing reshoots?’ It was messy. And it was crazy how everything got leaked to the press.”
There's more to the report (which, again, you can read in full here), including stories about Ron Howard's professionalism and how they've kept much of the original script intact ("It’s exactly the same script. They’re filming exactly the same things. There’s nothing new"), and it all culminates in the following:
"[The source] also points out that the financial underperformance of the last Star Wars installment — which fell $200 million short of analysts’ predictions, according to The Wall Street Journal — has incentivized the studio to make the Force strong with this one. “They have to make [Solo] good after The Last Jedi didn’t make as much money as expected,” he says. “If they want to keep making Star Wars movies, it has to be good.”
If you're anything like this writer, you read through Vulture's entire report with your Shenanigan Sense tingling (there's a pronounced "damage control" undercurrent to the entire thing) but it's here, in the post's final moments - where Vulture's unnamed source takes a highly questionable swing at The Last Jedi (total worldwide box office: $1.3B) - that your Bullshit Alarms really started going off. "If they want to keep making Star Wars movies"? There's no scenario here where Disney stops making Star Wars movies. Disney will be making Star Wars movies long after you, I and everyone we know is dead.
What's really going on here?
It's impossible to say with any real degree of certainty. Maybe the entire thing is fabricated (is anything in this report new?). Maybe it's partially true. Maybe it's completely true (we are almost positive this is not the case). All we know is, this report seems to feature all the symptoms of a manufactured piece of damage control, if not an outright bullshit story concocted by someone looking to stir up drama. Our guess is that we'll never have an official, on-the-record account from anyone about what really went on on that Solo set. Until that day comes, we're giving a heavy dose of side-eye to any and all anonymous reports.
What do you think? Does the above ring true to you? Are you as skeptical as we are? Weigh in via the comments below, we're curious to hear what you folks make of all this.