Lucasfilm’s creative process has been a bit of a mess lately. Rogue One had to undergo extensive reshoots before release, and earlier this year producer Kathleen Kennedy took the extraordinary step of firing directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller of the standalone Han Solo film just two weeks before the end of principal photography. Ron Howard has since been brought on to finish the film, but the 11th-hour move raised questions as to why things were allowed to progress so far — particularly when massive creative differences apparently existed between Kennedy and Lord and Miller.
And now Trevorrow has “bowed out”. Doubtful. More likely shown the door.
There are two ways to look at all the messy, behind-the-scenes, musical chairs that has happened during the tumultuous first 3 films out of Lucasfilm since Disney bought it and Kathleen Kennedy took over.
One the one hand, you can think things are an absolute mess and surely something is wrong over there.
Or, you can look at it the way I believe the truth really is… making productions this large is a very messy and difficult business. This sort of thing happens more often than you and I think about. It is just that Disney and Lucasfilm are under a bit more scrutiny than many other film houses. Also, I like to think that Kathleen Kennedy is doing an amazing job. She’s making the really, really hard choices of completely firing people – forsaking the loss of time, money, and momentum, in order to ship a superior product.
Yes, there were reshoots for Rogue One. But the Rogue One we saw was very, very good. What if she (and, likely, others) didn’t force the issue to do reshoots? What if she didn’t fire the co-directors of the new Han Solo movie and recruit an Oscar-winning replacement? And, what if she kept Trevorrow on (even though he has a fantastic first name)?
It is very easy to point out that things could be wrong. But, it is more likely that this sort of thing is remarkably hard to do without some ego casualties.
My guess is that Episode IX will be better for it. While I enjoyed Jurassic World it was far from great. I think Trevorrow has a bit more work to do before you hand him the most beloved franchise of all time. I say bring in a heavy-hitter that wants a crack at Vader’s kid’s legacy.