Williams has been eager to emphasise that there were no personal reasons for his absence in the finished project and that he hoped his character, a human-alien hybrid, would appear in later films.
The cutting of a major character this late into production does not bode well, however. When Lord and Miller were first announced as directors for the project, expectations were high due to the young duo’s previous successes with 21 Jump Street and The Lego Movie. On top of that, a top-notch ensemble was assembled including Williams, Game of Thrones’ Emilia Clarke, Woody Harrelson, Donald Glover, and two brilliant Brits, Thandie Newton and Phoebe Waller Bridge.
However there were reports of Lord and Miller repeatedly clashing with the head of Lucasfilm Kathleen Kennedy who allegedly limited the amount of creative control the young directors had. This situation was worsened by the pair repeatedly fighting with script writers Larry and Jon Kasdan who were reportedly angry at the pair’s indifferent approach to the script and their encouragement of improvisation.
With the hiring of Ron Howard, Disney found a safe pair of hands to rescue the project. But Howard does have a very different aesthetic style to Lord and Miller, and this latest news of the loss of one of the lead characters makes one wonder what this film will actually be once it has finally wrapped.