By now, most everyone who is going to see Star Wars: The Last Jedi in the theater, has seen it. Which means Disney and Lucasfilm are ready to start getting fans excited about the next Star Wars film, Solo: A Star Wars Story. In fact, word has it that the first trailer will debut during the college football National Championships on ESPN this Monday, Jan. 8. So, we figured it was a good time to scour the net and compile all the official news and juicy rumors we could find about this movie that details Han Solo’s early exploits.
This film has had a bit of a bumpy ride to the big screen. In July 2015 directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller (The Lego Movie) were brought on to helm this Han Solo origin film. Disney were clearly looking to inject more humor into the galaxy far, far away. However, after reportedly continuously clashing with co-writer Lawrence Kasdan and Lucasfilm boss Kathleen Kennedy, Lord and Miller were dismissed last June. They were replaced by Hollywood veteran Ron Howard, the franchise’s first ever Academy Award-winning director. Although Howard was brought in to finish up the film, he ended up doing considerable reshoots. Regardless of all this, Lucasfilm has managed to maintain their original May 25 release date.
Below we have outlined any and everything that might get you hyped up about the second entry in the Star Wars standalone series. And thanks to Howard being social media savvy and fan-accessible, we luckily have quite a bit to share.
With apparently more than a thousand actors trying out for the role of young Han Solo, relative newcomer Alden Ehrenreich (Hail, Caesar!) came out on top. He beat out names like Miles Teller (War Dogs), Taron Egerton (The Secret Service: The Golden Circle) and Aaron Taylor-Johnson (Godzilla). While some have complained that he doesn’t look the part, recent promo art (above) makes us believe he could be Harrison Ford’s blood relation. Donald Glover’s casting as a youthful Lando Calrissian, on the other hand, has been universally praised. The third character from the original trilogy that will play a significant role in this film is, of course, Chewbacca. The Wookiee will once again be portrayed by Joonas Suotamo. The Finnish actor and basketball player also donned the iconic suit in The Last Jedi and was Peter Mayhew’s double in The Force Awakens.
As for the rest of the cast, the only solid details we have are the fact that Woody Harrelson (War For The Planet of the Apes) will play Han’s mentor named Beckett, and that Emilia Clarke (Game of Thrones) is the female lead, Qi'ra. It’s worth noting that Christian Bale (The Big Short) recently divulged in an interview that he had been in talks with Lucasfilm to play Han’s mentor, before the role went to Harrelson. It has also been confirmed that UK screenwriter/actress Phoebe Waller-Bridge (Fleabag) will play a motion-capture character. It has been speculated that she will be a droid, as the part was compared to that of Alan Tudyk as K-2SO in Rogue One.
Lastly, Thandie Newton (Westworld) and Paul Bettany (Captain America: Civil War) have both been cast in unspecified roles. What we do know is that Bettany was brought in to replace Michael K. Williams (The Wire), who had filmed scenes as a motion-capture alien. Due to scheduling conflicts, Williams could not take part in reshoots when Howard took over directing duties. So, the filmmakers created a new human character for Bettany to portray. At the Rhode Island Comic Con in November a fan asked the British actor the name of his character and he responded, "I'm not sure. I might get sued is the answer to that one. I can't answer that. But obviously, I am a very cool intergalactic gangster." Behind-the-scenes photos seem to suggest he is some sort of wealthy and unscrupulous hoarder, not unlike The Collector from Guardians of the Galaxy.