Phil Lord and Chris Miller (21 Jump Street, The Lego Movie) have been fired as directors of the Han Solo spin-off movie, due for release in May 2018.

It comes as a huge surprise, with the film already three months into filming, but Disney have cited creative differences as the reason for their dismissal. According to sources, Lord and Miller’s style seriously clashed with Star Wars big cheese, Lawrence Kasdan, who wrote Empire Strikes Back, co-wrote The Force Awakens with JJ Abrams, and co-wrote the Han Solo script with his son, Jon.

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The statement from Kathleen Kennedy, head of Lucasfilm, is as follows:

Phil Lord and Christopher Miller are talented filmmakers who have assembled an incredible cast and crew, but it’s become clear that we had different creative visions on this film, and we’ve decided to part ways. A new director will be announced soon.

Lord and Miller followed this with their own statement:

Unfortunately, our vision and process weren’t aligned with our partners on this project. We normally aren’t fans of the phrase ‘creative differences’ but for once this cliché is true. We are really proud of the amazing and world-class work of our cast and crew.

Sources for the Hollywood Reporter suggest that the clash was due to Lord and Miller’s “improvisational style.”

Lord and Miller have a comedic sensibility and improvisational style while Kasdan favors a strict adherence to the written word — what is on the page is what must be shot.

Extensive reshoots of the film are scheduled for later in the summer, but Lucasfilm insists that the film remains on course for release in May 2018.

Update (22.06.17)

Ron Howard (Rush, The Da Vinci Code, Arrested Development) has been named the new director of the Untitled Han Solo film, as expected.

Lucasfilm president, Kathleen Kennedy, said in a statement today:

At Lucasfilm, we believe the highest goal of each film is to delight, carrying forward the spirit of the saga that George Lucas began forty years ago. With that in mind, we’re thrilled to announce that Ron Howard will step in to direct the untitled Han Solo film. We have a wonderful script, an incredible cast and crew, and the absolute commitment to make a great movie. Filming will resume the 10th of July.

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