Lucasfilm firing Phil Lord and Chris Miller from the Han Solo movie came as a big shock for several fans; one reason is because principal photography only had a few weeks left to shoot, and all of a sudden, Miller and Lord were suddenly pulled out. So why did Lucasfilm take so long to get them out of the game? As it turns out, Lucasfilm was trying to work with Lord and Miller, but the pair refused to compromise with the studio.
According to Entertainment Weekly, Lord and Miller were encouraging too much comedic improvisation from the actors that it was beginning to steer away from Kasdan's main story. EW writes:
The variations added up to significantly change the story. They may have been brought aboard to give young Han Solo a wiseacre vibe and an irreverent style, but Lucasfilm still felt the directors had a responsibility to tell the story as written. When dailies began rolling in featuring improvisation from the actors and new ideas from the directors that significantly parted ways with the script, the relationship with the home office at Lucasfilm became fraught. As principal photography for the movie approached its end, it became clear that the filmmakers and producers did not share the same vision for some critical scenes. Reshoots were always possible (they are factored into almost every major film these days, and each new Star Wars project has undergone them), but as Lord and Miller dug in, refusing to compromise on what they saw as best for the film, the partnership went from strained to fractured.
Now I sort of understand Lucasfilm's side on the matter. Before the movie had started shooting, several reports have gone to say that the Han Solo script was the best Star Wars story ever written, and I remember reading somewhere that this will be Kasdan's last Star Wars story. It would only make sense that he would want the script that he wrote to matter, and not disappear into a myriad of improv.
I guess Miller and Lord were also in the wrong in the sense that they refused to compromise with the studio. I know I've been vocal about trusting their creative decisions, but Kasdan also put hard work into this script—he's one of the creatives as well. If he felt that Lord and Miller's decisions won't do the script justice, then I guess Lucasfilm did the right thing pulling the duo out now.
Hopefully the Han Solo movie doesn't turn out to be a flop, and we still get to enjoy the film the way we're supposed to.
Han Solo: A Star Wars Story is set to come out May 25, 2018.