Lucasfilm’s Star Wars spinoff centered on Han Solo in his younger years will star Alden Ehrenreich in the lead role, according to Deadline.
Update (July 17): The news was confirmed at Star Wars Celebration during the Future Filmmakers panel. Alden was the first actor they saw for the role — out of 3,000 people — and he was always their favorite. Filming is expected to begin in early 2017.
Original story (May 2016): And what a role it is. With this news, Alden Ehrenreich essentially replaces Harrison Ford for the foreseeable future. The new Star Wars spinoff is due out in theaters in May 2018 (the year in between Star Wars: Episode VIII and IX!), and the film’s plot will take place before the events of A New Hope, before the smuggler meets Luke and Leia.
Other than it being set before the very first Star Wars movie, little else is known about the story. Last year Disney said that it’ll focus “on how young Han Solo became the smuggler, thief, and scoundrel whom Luke Skywalker and Obi-Wan Kenobi first encountered in the cantina at Mos Eisley.” Like The Force Awakens and Rogue One, we expect we won’t be hearing much about the plot until we’re sitting in the theater and watching it ourselves.
It looks like Ehrenreich didn’t heed Ford’s “don’t do it!” advice.
Regardless, the levity of Ehrenreich’s casting can’t be understated. While we will all treasure Harrison Ford’s portrayal of Han Solo forever and ever, the fact of the matter is that Ehrenreich will play Han in many films to come. And sadly — unless we get a flashback or two — it’s extremely likely that Harrison Ford’s Han won’t be showing up in any film set after The Force Awakens. In other words, Ehrenreich is the new face of Han.
The 26-year-old actor is best known for roles in Hail, Caesar! and Beautiful Creatures.
The LEGO Movie directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller will direct the Han Solo movie, which appears to be close to entering principal photography. This major casting news aside, on Wednesday Miller tweeted out the following photo which appears to be from set:
— Chris Miller (@chrizmillr) May 4, 2016
“This is the first film we’ve worked on that seems like a good idea to begin with,” the directors said in July. “We promise to take risks, to give the audience a fresh experience, and we pledge ourselves to be faithful stewards of these characters who mean so much to us. This is a dream come true for us. And not the kind of dream where you’re late for work and all your clothes are made of pudding, but the kind of dream where you get to make a film with some of the greatest characters ever, in a film franchise you’ve loved since before you can remember having dreams at all.”