While production continues on Lucasfilm’s upcoming Han Solo movie with new director Ron Howard, one actor originally hired by Phil Lord and Christopher Miller will not be continuing: Michael K. Williams. Best known for roles in shows like The Wire, Boardwalk Empire, The Night Of and Hap and Leonard, Williams has told Deadline he was unable to continue after reshoots overlapped with other projects, including the film The Red Sea Diving Resort now shooting in South Africa with Chris Evans.
“I felt great about what I created with the directors that I worked with,” said Williams, who left Han Solo in June. “It is what it is. We created a kick-ass character, in my opinion. I’m proud of it. When Ron Howard got hired to finish out the film, there were some reshoot issues that needed to be done in regards to my character, in order for it to match the new direction which the producers wanted Ron to carry the film in. And that would have required me on a plane a month ago to London, to Pinewood, to do reshoots. But I’m here, on location in Africa. It’s scheduling.
I’m not going to be back on the market until the end of November after ‘Hap and Leonard,’ and for them to wait that long for me, that would have pushed back the release date, which I believe is in May 2018. They wanted me now; I couldn’t go. So they had to clip-clip-clip.”
It is unknown if Williams’ half-human, half-animal role has been recast or deleted entirely from the film. Despite having to exit the film, Williams does not rule out a future role in a Galaxy far far away.
“I don’t think that me not being in the Star Wars family is final,” Williams added. “I left with a very good taste in my mouth about the whole family, and I hope that I left a good taste in their mouth. They’re a great group of people, the Lucas family.”
The untitled Han Solo film features Hail, Caesar‘s Alden Ehrenreich as Han, with Atlanta‘s Donald Glover as Lando Calrissian and The Force Awakens‘ Joonas Suotamo as Chewbacca. Woody Harrelson is playing Han’s mentor, a man by the name of Beckett, while Game of Thrones‘ Emilia Clarke, Westworld‘s Thandie Newton and Fleabag‘s Phoebe Waller-Bridge are playing undisclosed roles.
In the wake of the departure of directors Phil Lord and Christopher Miller from the upcoming Han Solo Star Wars movie, Lucasfilm hired director Ron Howard (A Beautiful Mind, The Da Vinci Code) to take their places. It is unknown how credit will be divided for the finished film, as at least 3/4s of it was already shot when Howard took over.
The Han Solo movie is scheduled to be released on May 25, 2018.