The production upheavals on the new Star Wars standalone movie about Han Solo have claimed a creative casualty.
Actor Michael K. Williams will no longer appear in the picture, which is going through reshoots under the direction of Ron Howard. According to Deadline, the production schedule on the film caused a conflict with Williams' commitments to his next movie, a spy thriller called The Red Sea Diving Resort. With Williams unable to make it for Howard's reshoots, his role has been excised from the Han Solo film completely.
Williams was cast in the movie by original directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller, who were dismissed from the project in June over creative differences with Lucasfilm, and told Deadline that he "felt great" about the work he did with them, saying that his unspecified role was half human and half animal and that it was a "kick-ass character." He explained what happened next:
"When Ron Howard got hired to finish out the film, there were some reshoot issues that needed to be done in regards to my character, in order for it to match the new direction which the producers wanted Ron to carry the film in...that would have required me on a plane a month ago to London, to Pinewood, to do reshoots. But I’m here, on location in Africa. It’s scheduling. I’m not going to be back on the market until the end of November after (his Sundance TV series) Hap and Leonard, and for them to wait that long for me, that would have pushed back the release date, which I believe is in May 2018. They wanted me now; I couldn’t go. So they had to clip-clip-clip."
The Han Solo film is still on the calendar for a May 25, 2018, release, with Howard brought in to help Lucasfilm make that date despite the extensive overhaul underway on the production. Alden Ehrenreich stars as the young Han Solo, with Woody Harrelson, Emilia Clarke, Donald Glover, and Thandie Newton also in the cast.
Despite the turmoil that has surrounded the film, the fact is that sometimes actors — and their entire performances — do get cut from movies for various reasons. Williams (whose recent genre credits include The Purge: Anarchy and Assassin's Creed) said that he left the production with "a very good taste in my mouth about the whole family, and I hope that I left a good taste in their mouth."
Do you think this is just one of those unfortunate turns of events that can happen or another sign of the difficulties that have plagued this particular Star Wars movie?