Solo: A Star Wars Story

Han Solo Movie Wraps; Official Title Announced

It’s not brain surgery, but it’s an elegant title.  The second anthology film will be called Solo: A Star Wars Story.  Director Ron Howard announced the title today as principal photography has wrapped.  While I’m enormously excited and positive regarding The Last Jedi (which opens in only 59 days), I have a lot of trepidation regarding Solo.  A lot of them stem from the weird firing of original directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller (click here to read more on that).  To some degree, I-like a lot of Star Wars fans-can’t imagine anyone but Harrison Ford as the smuggler, and I don’t have enough confidence in Alden Ehrenreich to overcome that prejudice.  I DO think Donald Glover will destroy a young Lando Clarissian.  What makes me most nervous about the film is how Disney has refused to budge on the May 23, 2018, release date.  That’s not a lot of time to smooth out the wrinkles on a film with a troubled production history PLUS do all the massive amount of post-production work that is required in any Star Wars film.  But say all that goes GREAT and the film is fantastic…..I still think Disney is setting it up to fail.
Ron Howard in Solo: A Star Wars Story

I wrote a long piece about Disney’s obsession with moving Star Wars from Christmas back to its historic FOX release date in May earlier this year.  Episode IX has been delayed back to Christmas 2019, so of their first four films, this would be the only one to release in May.  However, no one is thinking about this film.  Everyone is thinking about The Last Jedi.  Non-SW fans, have no clue another SW film is coming five months after TLJ.  Assuming it’s as good as we hope it will be, the afterglow is going to last into February.  I’m curious if the first teaser for the film will go with TLJ just to alert people, because by February, Disney will be into its own success problem.  Black Panther comes out in February, which will get people hyped for May’s Avengers Infinity War: the beginning of the culmination of a 10-year storyline.

Solo: A Star Wars Story

Disney plans to release Solo three weeks after Infinity War, which will stunt the box office for both films, but it’s also being thrown right before one of the most stacked June schedule’s in recent memory.  The weeks following Solo see Deadpool 2, Ocean’s 8, Disney’s OWN The Incredibles 2, and Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom.  I’d be concerned, if I were them alredy over The Incredibles 2, but to plop a Star Wars film in-between part one of the MCU climax and a Pixar sequel everyone has wanted since the minute the first Incredibles ended?  That’s just stupid.  I know Disney has Mary Poppins 2 in December 2018, but December 2018 is a lot more bendy than the slot they currently have Solo in-set up to be the first financial flop in Star Wars history.  I want to love this film, and I want to be wrong, but if they keep it in May….I don’t see how it can succeed, and the anthology films aren’t so well-established yet that they can take a failure.

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Solo: A Star Wars Story features Hail, Caesar‘s Alden Ehrenreich as Han, with Atlanta‘s Donald Glover as Lando Calrissian and The Force Awakens‘ Joonas Suotamo as Chewbacca. Woody Harrelson is playing Han’s mentor, a man by the name of Beckett, while Game of Thrones‘ Emilia Clarke, Westworld‘s Thandie Newton, and Fleabag‘s Phoebe Waller-Bridge are playing undisclosed roles.

In the wake of the departure of directors Phil Lord and Christopher Miller from the upcoming Solo: A Star Wars Story, Lucasfilm hired director Ron Howard (A Beautiful Mind, The Da Vinci Code) to take their place. It is unknown how credit will be divided for the finished film, as at least 3/4s of it was already shot when Howard took over.

Solo: A Star Wars Story is scheduled to be released on May 25, 2018.

3 thoughts on “Han Solo Movie Wraps; Official Title Announced”

    1. No the title is pretty expected but I cannot see any sense in not delaying the film or the obsession with May. I love having them at the holidays, but that June is already overpacked. At least put it in August so we don’t end up with the 2 month drought we did this year.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. So! There is no way around the bad release date, but will it be a flop?

    Here’s the thing: this will be the first SW movie since the 1980’s to not be about the mythologizing. The hiring of Lord and Miller made that abundantly clear, and the roping in of Ron Howard cemented it. He’s miles from L and M, but you wouldn’t have hired him to helm the prequels, or R1, or even TFA. I’m pretty sure he wasn’t brought in because of his recent work, he was brought in because he was once a part of the old gang from the 80’s, because he made Cocoon and Willow. This film will be a throwback, or it will try to be. It will trade on that all-important variety I kept talking about when Disney first made its SW designs clear. This film will be a fun standalone adventure, or at least it will try to be. And that is going to hold huge audience appeal.

    You don’t hire Ehrenreich for the gravitas. I do think the people at Disney were high when they chose him. Yes he is off the scale charming and charismatic, and yes SW makes stars, it does not depend on them. But this role already made Harrison Ford. This is tempting fate now. The peculiar nature of this particular movie demanded some kind of box office draw. Also someone experienced enough to not need an acting coach. But Han is popular, and if this film is true to the character, I think a general audience will get a huge kick out of watching him. At the very least it will be a palate cleansing between the other films in the series, which right now feature a villain murdering his own parents.

    Also I am assuming there was lots and lots of acting in front of blue screens, and that the actors were very familiar with their parts. Despite L and M’s fondness for improvising, the reshoots are working from the same script by Lawrence Kasdan as before. Usually, reshoots involve a rewritten script, and often new sets and locations and everything. This is not the same situation, even if there have been some alterations.

    Assuming it IS a flop, it comes right after what will probably be a terrific and highly popular episode, and the next standalone is Obi-Wan Kenobi, that film that everyone is dying to see, with an actor that everyone already loves in the role. That film has endless potential (and still will, even after the guy who directed The Hours is inevitably fired). Also, right now SW is SW, people are not going to seek out the episodes and shun the standalones, not yet anyway. If Solo fails, it will not do irrevocable damage.

    So try to be relaxed. As confident as Han and as smooth as Lando. And I’m glad to hear you say what you said about Glover. A fine actor with an altogether different quality than Billy Dee Williams.

    Liked by 1 person

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