Michael K. Williams is one of the most prolific and respected television actors of all time. The iconic actor, known for his drawling speech and the scar over his eye, has starred in ‘The Wire’ and ‘Boardwalk Empire’ where he accrued the majority of his fame. However, Williams has had trouble reaching into the world of feature films but that was supposedly behind him after being picked up and cast for ‘Solo: A Star Wars Story’. Despite his incredible resume, Williams fell victim to one of the biggest horrors that an actor can run across in their work: being recast and cut from a film.
Being cast into the ‘Solo’ film was a big deal for Williams and he was ecstatic to get to work on the project. However, ‘Solo’ ran into several bouts of highly publicised issues which culminated in the firing of directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller. With the majority of the film complete and Miller/Lord ousted, Disney opted to hire a new director to essentially re-shoot the film. Ron Howard was brought on board to salvage the film, which had reportedly been found ‘too comedic’ by Disney, and reshoots began almost immediately.
Reshoots at the caliber that Howard and Disney were undertaking was something even the most veteran of actors will rarely come across. Williams says, “That was such an odd turn of events. That’s not the norm.” Williams admitted that he couldn’t help but laugh at the extent of the reshoots and he knew that he wouldn’t be able to come back to finish the film thanks to other contractual obligations. So, instead of finding a creative way to retain Williams, Disney instead opted to erase his character from the cinematic universe and recast him as someone else completely. Williams was rightfully upset but he admits, “There comes a point, you just gotta throw your hands up.”
Despite Williams’ ability to move past his own dismay at being recast, he couldn’t hide the melancholy behind the lost work that he put into the project. Williams detailed in an interview that he worked extensively with stars Emilia Clarke and Woody Harrelson as well as Alden Ehrenreich, the actor playing Han Solo. Williams said, “We had all these amazing scenes together, and I thought it was a great opportunity, and I thought it was some great stuff.” It is unfortunate for fans that Williams will not be seen at all in the final cut.