Michael K. Williams unveils details of his cut Solo performance
He's a renegade on the loose, with nothing to lose.
Michael K. Williams, who was replaced in Solo: A Star Wars Story during the movie's unexpected director change and reshoots, has shared new details of the character he played before actor Paul Bettany was called in to take over.
Williams shared the details on his character during a visit to Sirius XM's Jim and Sam, going in depth about his character's name and disposition.
"The character's name was Dryden Vox," Willams shared. "He was half mountain lion, half human. He was extremely sophisticated, very rich — like he had been around the world, older guy."
He went on to describe a love triangle between Vox, Emilia Clarke's Qi'ra, and young Han Solo, played by Alden Ehrenreich.
"There was definitely a pissing contest going on for the girl's attention," Williams continued. "He's older, and one is younger, so that thing is also going on. Like, 'Young buck, I've been around the world.' He's like 'Yeah, but the young chick wants the young buck.' So there was a little bit of that energy going on."
Some commentators have reacted to the "half mountain lion" bit of Williams' story with skepticism, but it's not the first time the character has been described as being of a hybrid species. Williams previously described the role as having a half-animal nature months ago, and from watching the video of his recent interview, he doesn't appear to be joking. Anything is possible in Star Wars, after all — if Phoebe Waller-Bridge or Alan Tudyk can play a droid, than certainly Williams could play half-feline.
Williams was unable to keep the role when reshoots started, as he was already in Africa filming the thriller Red Sea Diving Resort with Chris Evans. So while all of this information may have been true while Williams was playing the role, the question is whether or not Paul Bettany is playing the character with the same attributes. We still don't know exactly what Ron Howard's reshoots changed from original directors' Phil Lord and Christopher Miller's version, and if this character was affected enough by the reshoots to need recasting, it's possible his function in the script was altered, too.
Like many fans have already done, Williams also shared his incredulous reaction to how the director switch was handled, the drastic step coming as an unusual surprise to the veteran actor.
"I get the phone call that 80% into the movie — there's only 20% left to shoot of the movie — Lucasfilm and the directors [...] didn't see eye-to-eye anymore, and they were fired," Williams said. "So they brought in Ron Howard, and they said 'Look, can you steer the ship back in this direction? How long would it take for you to do that?' And he says 'give me a few days to assess the damages and I'll get back to you.' And he got back, [saying], 'In regards to Michael K. Williams' character, if you want me to save it, we're going to have to reshoot it in its entirety.'"
Williams doesn't know exactly why his whole performance in particular needed the do-over, but guessed it had to do with a different direction Howard and Lucasfilm wanted to head in regarding the tone of the performance.
"I think [Lord and Miller] were taking the franchise in a different direction, and it was not working for Lucasfilm," Williams said.
"I've been in Hollywood long enough to know anything can happen," Williams added. " I've seen a lot of crazy s—t, y'know? That was one for the textbooks. That was just so out of left field."
Williams is known for playing the fan favorite role of Omar Little on the HBO series The Wire, and has also recently had roles on Hap and Leonard, Boardwalk Empire, and F Is for Family. He is currently filming an adaptation of the Jonathan Lethem book Motherless Brooklyn.
Solo: A Star Wars Story will be out in theaters on May 25.