When Disney first acquired Lucasfilm in 2012, they confirmed that they would be releasing Star Wars spinoff films in conjunction with the Saga films. This year, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story will be the first of those spinoffs, with subsequent ones to follow. One of those films will be a spinoff centered on the adventures of a young Han Solo, played by Alden Ehrenreich (Hail, Caesar!), with Donald Glover playing the smooth Lando Calrissian.
Directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller are still in the pre-production process of the film, which is getting ready to shoot next year for a summer 2018 release. While it is still very unclear where the film could go, Arrival cinematographer Bradford Young is now talking a little bit about the film and how he shares the same ambition with Lord and Miller.
Check out what he had to say below.
We’ve all heard the horror stories of studio interference, or even how creative differences put a wedge between the filmmaker and their beloved project. However, it seems like there will be very little of both happening in the Untitled Young Han Solo Spinoff. In an interview with Collider, Young spoke about how Disney and Lucasfilm have kept their distance with the project, allowing them to tell The Force Awakens co-writer Lawrence Kasdan and his son, Jon Kasdan‘s story.
“We’re doing our own thing, that’s why we’re there. Phil and Chris are there to bring what they bring to their films, their very unique vision, their perspective on story and they asked me to come bring what I bring, and so just for that it won’t feel like any of the other films. And nobody at Lucasfilm is asking us to betray that, they’re saying ‘We’re in full support of what you do and we wanna make sure that we’re able to help you do it in the best way.’ It’s gonna feel like a Star Wars film, but we’re definitely gonna break some rules, and we’re encouraged to do that. Visually, narratively that’s a good mandate. They really are about, from what I’ve seen so far, supporting up and coming artists, artists who have a strong vision and voice and perspective, and they really wanna permeate the films with those kinds of voices. So it’s interesting, very interesting. Not what I thought it would be, that’s for sure. I’m pleasantly encouraged and pleasantly surprised.”
For those who don’t know, Young’s credits include Selma, A Most Violent Year, and most recently the critically acclaimed Arrival. Now, given those films, one would think that the Young Han Solo spinoff would be an odd fit for the cinematographer. He even agrees with such a sentiment. However, he soon discovered that he shared their filmmaking ambitions:
“It’s funny, here’s the thing about Phil Lord and Chris Miller: don’t let their track record fool you. Don’t put those guys in a box because they have a vision, they know exactly what they want. They have no hidden agenda, but they do have an agenda; they have a way of seeing that’s very special, and their collaboration is genuinely unique. So I have to say I had to get converted into that. I respect their work, I respect them as filmmakers, but I wasn’t quite sure if there would be a good marriage between what I’m trying to pursue and the work that I’m doing and what they’re doing, but they helped make that real clear to me early on by expressing some real interesting story [and] photographic ideas that really resonated with me. So once they started really pulling me into that world, I realized how much these cats have come from the same pedagogy of filmmaking—in the visual sense for sure, and definitely from an approach in terms of how we want to make movies, they come from the same school.”
Lord and Miller have a bit of a reputation for giving us films that perform well beyond their expectations. They’ve proved that with Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs, the Jump Street films, and The LEGO Movie. So directing another “bad idea” like the Young Han Solo film is right in their wheelhouse.
The Untitled Young Han Solo Spinoff is currently testing for a female lead. It will open in theaters on May 25, 2018.