Any initial skepticism about the Han Solo spin-off has to be slowly drifting away. When Disney and Lucasfilm first announced the concept a year or two ago, there was a collective groan from fans of the Star Wars franchise. Did we really need to bring this character back for a spin-off? Then it was revealed that Phil Lord and Christopher Miller, the two guys best known for bringing impossible concepts to life, would be at the helm for the film. "Well, maybe it won't be so bad," was the general thought. Then Lord and Miller cast Alden Ehrenreich, the breakout star of Hail, Caesar! for his show-stopping performance as Hobie Doyle, in the titular role. "Oh, that's interesting," everybody said. Then actor/rapper Donald Glover joined the cast as Lando Calrissian, which caught everyone's attention. And then in November, Game of Thrones star Emilia Clarke joined the adventure in an unexpected role. In the span of a year, Lucasfilm turned a throwaway spin-off movie into a must-see event. Star Wars was always going to attract some attention, but this is shaping up to be something really special.
And now, things are getting even more interesting. In an exclusive report, Variety is confirming that Woody Harrelson is in very early talks to join the cast of the Han Solo anthology film. Harrelson will play a mentor to Ehrenreich's Solo, but according to the trade magazine, negotiations are still in the initial stages. But if you're a Star Wars fan or just a fan of movies in general, you have to be excited by this move. Harrelson is a great actor, and he operates with an incredibly distinct, quick-witted charisma. He is the perfect choice to play the man who taught Han Solo the ropes, and the idea of Harrelson and Ehrenreich on screen together is so enticing. After the success of 22 Jump Street and The LEGO Movie, I became a huge fan of Lord and Miller, so I'll watch anything that they direct. But there's no question that the Han Solo film has jumped to the top of my most anticipated list for the next few years. If the script (which is being written by Jon and Lawrence Kasdan) is good, we're in for a treat.
The Han Solo spin-off film is currently set for a May 25, 2018 release, but rumors are swirling around that the film may be pushed back to December 2018. With the recent trend of Star Wars films, I certainly see that happening. I'm sure we'll hear more about this one in the near future.
Image courtesy of STX Entertainment, Poster Credit: Joblo