Han Solo may have died in “Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” but Disney isn’t done with him yet. The roguish hero will return in his very own solo film, and he won’t be alone. According to Variety, “Hunger Games” star Woody Harrelson is in talks to play Han Solo’s mentor.
The report cautions that Harrelson’s talks are in the early stages, but that he “is the top choice to play Han Solo’s mentor” in the upcoming “Star Wars” anthology film. While most of the stars announced for the film are up and coming, the report claims “executives wanted this role to go to an actor with considerable clout.” Since the film is rumored to begin shooting in February, the timing of Harrelson’s talks certainly makes sense.
Like “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story,” the events of “Star Wars: Han Solo” take place before the character debuted in “Star Wars: A New Hope.” Though no details about Harrelson’s potential role have been released, it seems likely he will help shape the young smuggler into the rogue we meet in “A New Hope.”
“Hail, Caesar!” standout Alden Ehrenreich will portray the titular smuggler, with “Atlanta” star Donald Glover playing a young Lando Calrissian and Emilia Clarke cast as a new character. A younger version of fan-favorite character/Han Solo’s co-pilot Chewbacca will also make an appearance, along with the Millennium Falcon.
This wouldn’t be Harrelson’s first time playing a mentor. He oversaw Katniss Everdeen’s trials as Haymitch Abernathy in “The Hunger Games” series and played Nadine’s teacher and confidant Mr. Bruner in “The Edge of Seventeen.” He has an extensive list of past credits, including “True Detective,” “LBJ,” “Now You See Me” and “No Country for Old Men.” No stranger to the sci-fi and fantasy genre, he has also appeared in “Zombieland,” “2012” and more.
“Star Wars: Han Solo” will follow “Rogue One” as well as “Star Wars: Episode VIII.” As Disney’s first “Star Wars” anthology film, “Rogue One” tested the water for the studio’s concept and has proven to be very successful; the film has earned $790 million worldwide in just two and a half weeks.
Directed by Phil Lord and Chris Miller from a script by Lawrence and Jon Kasdan, the still-untitled Han Solo “Star Wars” anthology film is scheduled to hit theaters in December 2018.