Here Are the Actors Being Considered to Play Young Han Solo
Who will play Han Solo in the standalone Star Wars spinoff centered on the young smuggler? That’s the question, at the moment, even though common sense would suggest the answer to be “Absolutely no one other than Harrison Ford.” For some reason, Disney is still planning on going through with the young Han Solo movie, which means the studio has to find someone who can achieve the nigh-impossible task of embodying one of the most iconic roles in film — a role so strongly identified with one actor that there’s already push-back from the fan community over the entire premise of this film’s existence in the first place.
Miles Teller, Ansel Elgort, Dave Franco, Jack Reynor, Scott Eastwood, Logan Lerman, Emory Cohen and Blake Jenner are among the names being considered for the film, which will be directed by The LEGO Movie helmers Phil Lord and Chris Miller, which begs the question of why this thing isn’t an animated movie. But I expect Disney will want to tie characters from the Solo spinoff into other anthology films in the future, which would require live action portrayals of the characters. For instance, one of the prevailing rumors is that Disney is trying to push casting forward for the Han Solo movie in order to have the young smuggler appear in this December’s Rogue One, which takes place between Episodes III and IV of the Star Wars saga. It certainly would explain why this is all coming out now, despite the fact that the Han Solo movie isn’t scheduled to begin filming until January 2017.
Either way, I still think this movie is a terrible idea. Harrison Ford is so strongly associated with the role of Han Solo that I couldn’t see anyone else in the role, short of noted impressionist Anthony Ingruber. With such an expansive universe, it feels restrictive that we keep focusing on the same handful of characters in the same general time period. I’m not really sure why we need a Han Solo movie, or a Yoda movie, or even a Boba Fett movie. An Obi-Wan movie would be fine, if only because Ewan McGregor is the right age, and he apparently would be game for it. But Han Solo is just one of those characters whose early life is better left a big-screen mystery, in my opinion. Or, if you HAVE to, make it a TV adventure series like Firefly.
With all that having been said, of the actors on the shortlist, I think Emory Cohen and Scott Eastwood are the best of the lot. Cohen was terrific in Brooklyn this past fall, and I think he exudes the same sort of charm Ford did in the 70s. Eastwood, meanwhile, has that rugged, manly quality that resembles the original character in A New Hope. Ultimately, while I’m against the entire concept of the film, I can’t argue that there aren’t tons of potentially awesome stories to be told about Han. And if this were to be a spaghetti Western type of film centered on Han Solo vs. Boba Fett, then this could actually be among the more daring films in the Star Wars Universe. But whatever cautious optimism I might have is tempered by the desire to see new stories with new characters set in new periods in this Star Wars Universe. Why not a movie set in The Old Republic? Or a movie that bridges the gap between the Original Trilogy and The Force Awakens? Why go back to the prequel era? Or the period in-between Episodes III and IV, which is already being explored by Star Wars Rebels and Rogue One? It just feels like Disney is squandering the potential of the Star Wars Universe by not broadening their horizons beyond the unfamiliar. It’s Star Wars. It doesn’t have to be about Han Solo to make a lot of money.
Who do you think should play the young Han Solo? Is this a movie that should even be made? Sound off in the comments!
And for more on Star Wars, read up on the latest stellar weekend at the box office for The Force Awakens!