Woody Harrelson sure has come a long way from playing a goofy bartender in that place where everybody knows your name (for the kids born after 1993, I mean Cheers) and he’s now possibly going even further to a galaxy far, far away! According to a report from Variety, the popular two-time Oscar-nominated 55-year old actor could be playing the mentor to a young Han Solo in the still untitled second Star Wars spinoff focusing on the early years of the famous scruffy looking nerf herder before he ever met Luke Skywalker in a cantina on Mos Eisley.
Alden Ehrenreich was cast earlier last year as the young Han Solo, with Donald Glover confirmed to be playing a young Lando Calrissian while Emilia Clarke also joined the production in some undisclosed role (a role many initially assumed would be Saana Solo, Han’s estranged “wife” introduced in the canon Marvel comics, however Clarke bears absolutely no resemblance to her). Other than that though, we don’t have any further info on the film, which includes any character details for this mentor that Harrelson may be playing. I said “may be”, as Variety points out that talks are still in the very early stages, but that Harrelson is currently both Lucasfilm and Disney’s top choice for the gig.
Harrelson is no stranger to genre fare, coincidentally having played Haymitch Abernathy, Katniss Everdeen’s mentor, in The Hunger Games series. The untitled Han Solo movie will be produced by Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy and Allison Shearmur, with the latter also having produced The Hunger Games – which is probably why Harrelson’s name is in the mix now. Interestingly, THR’s Borys Kit revealed on Twitter that Harrelson’s was not the only name though, as apparently Lucasfilm and Disney were also strongly considering Christian Bale for the role. Now that is something I would really have loved to see!
True that Disney & Lucasfilm wanted someone big for HAN SOLO…before Woody Harrelson, CHRISTIAN BALE was the other big name in the mix.
— Borys Kit (@Borys_Kit) January 3, 2017
The Lego Movie and 21 Jump Street‘s Phil Lord and Chris Miller will be directing the untitled Han Solo movie – the second standalone Star Wars spinoff after the recent Rogue One – off a screenplay from Star Wars veteran Lawrence Kasdan and his son Jon Kasdan. It is scheduled for release on 25 May 2018.