In the middle of shooting Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Harrison Ford had an unfortunate run with a door. Part of the set of the Millennium Falcon went loose, and fell on the actor's leg, breaking it.
Director J.J. Abrams was at first worried that some scenes would have to be changed to keep Han Solo off of his feet, but the injury didn't hinder his performance on screen.
“It wasn’t something that we knew for a little while. When it became clear that he was going to be just fine, we realized we didn’t need to change that at all,” Abrams tells EW. “In fact, there are some places where he’s more active than he was prior to the accident. As you’ll see in the movie, he is running and doing more physical activity in this movie than I think anyone who knows he was injured would expect. Nothing was adjusted or lessened because of that accident. Even for Harrison, who is famously resilient and strong, he blew everyone’s minds.”
Abrams told EW that the injury was actually the “greatest gift to the movie”:
“It was obviously a horrible experience that I wish had never happened for obvious reasons. But the truth is, once we knew that Harrison was going to be okay, we all realized this was this greatest gift to the movie, and I would think that any filmmaker would say, ‘If I could get a break after a month of shooting, for a few weeks, to recalibrate, I would take it.’”
The break in production gave writer Lawrence Kasdan and Abrams time to rewrite and rework upcoming scenes, as well as reshoot some scenes that they weren’t happy with. The actors also had more time to rehearse their scenes. Writer Lawrence Kasdan adds that when Ford returned to the set “a strange kind of thing” happened where the actor “lit up the whole place.”
Star Wars: The Force Awakens will hit theaters on December 18.