When the announcement was made that Disney and Lucasfilm locked down Phil Lord and Chris Miller as their director’s for the upcoming young Han Solo spinoff, there’s no denying that it was met with quite a bit of surprise and excitement at the same time. The duo, as of late, have made a living turning pretty bad ideas into something better than just “good” films. Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs was a big surprise animated feature, the 21 Jump Street franchise is one of the best comedy series of the last decade, and while I didn’t fall in love with The LEGO Movie, I’m in the very small minority for that film. So really, who was a better fit to tackle a Star Wars spinoff focusing on our favorite nerf-herder?
This film is by far their biggest project to date, as it can either build greatly upon this fantastic character or make us question our feelings we’ve had for Han Solo for more than four decades. Either way, it sounds like Lord and Miller weren’t just chosen because of their ability to turn wacky projects into something bigger, in fact, it almost sounds like the complete opposite. Bradford Young, who is easily one of the best up-and-coming cinematographers of today, recently sat down with the folks over at Collider for Arrival and revealed that although at first glance it’s very odd pairing, he and the director’s share the same ambition for our first ever look at young Han Solo:
“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.”
Young was a very interesting choice for this particular film considering his previous work and very drama-heavy work. And while we’re still quite intrigued at how the film the will look and feel, Young’s comments add weight as to why these “cats” were chosen to direct, and he seems mighty excited to starting putting the pieces together with them.
He continued by saying that Lord and Miller, just as he did with Jump Street and The LEGO Movie, they plan on crushing expectations with something quite dynamic:
“These cats are subversive, don’t let it fool you (laughs). They are prepared to say exactly what they wanna say and it’s complex, it’s layered, it’s smart, it’s visual, it’s dramatic, it’s funny, it’s uneasy, it’s unexpected. These cats are—I’m honored to have them in the list of directors I’ve worked with, that’s for sure.”
That’s some damn good praise from a cinematographer who has worked with such talents like Avra DuVernay and Denis Villeneuve. Sure, they mix of tone and subject matter from Lord, Miller, and Young may have you scratching your head, but if it doesn’t have you excited to see how it all comes together, then I don’t know what else to say. Lord and Miller’s untitled Han Solo spinoff hits theaters on May 25th, 2018 and stars Alden Ehrenreich and Donald Glover.