We’ve heard the rumours for a couple of years now, but it’s finally official: Han Solo is getting his own… well, solo movie. Pegged as the next of the standalone Star Wars Anthology movies following Gareth Edwards’ Star Wars: Rogue One, the still untitled 2017 Solo pic will be helmed by The LEGO Movie directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller and will be looking at the younger years of the Corellian smuggler/scruffy-looking nerf-herder.
With the old Star Wars Expanded Universe scrapped, it leaves the field wide open as to exactly what story could be told about a young Han Solo, but whatever it ends up being there’s one thing that has to happen: We need a convincing young actor. As arguably the coolest character in the Star Wars mythos and one of the most well-known and well-loved characters of all time, played by one of the most well-known and well-loved actors of all time in Harrison Ford, whichever actor gets the nod is certainly going to have his work cut out for him to recapture the spark of the famous Han Solo.
Here are five such young actors who I think could make the cut:
- Tye Sheridan
There have been a few young actors whose names have recently been showing up on just about every list of candidates for every major role in nearly every huge mew franchise in Hollywood, and one such frequent figure has been Tye Sheridan. After breaking out in the critically acclaimed dramas Mud and Tree of Life, Sheridan’s star has been rapidly on the rise, with him recently landing his biggest role yet as a young Scott Summers/Cyclops in the upcoming X-Men: Apocalypse.
Maybe the young actor can add another “younger version of a famous character” role to his resume by joining the Star Wars world? He certainly gets a pass in the resemblance and acting skills department, and at 18-years old he may be a bit young but that also makes him primed to be able to lead a big franchise for years to come.
- Nat Wolff
Much like Sheridan, Nat Wolff is another member of the “Every Studio Wants To Cast Me In Something” Club. He had a breakout role in the huge The Fault In Our Stars which resulted in him landing on the reported shortlist to play Spider-Man in the new Marvel movie. He obviously didn’t get that gig, but maybe he was destined to play another popular character managed by Disney?
He certainly showed off plenty of the rogue-ish charm and spark needed for Han Solo in his scene-stealing turn in The Fault In Our Stars, and there’s definitely a resemblance there. Even down to the very dubious earring.
- Taron Egerton
Of all the actors on this list Taron Egerton easily has the least resemblance to Harrison Ford, and also has the smallest filmography with really just one role. But what a role it was! The only thing more surprising than Colin Firth’s badassery in Matthew Vaughn’s absolutely incredible Kingsman: The Secret Service, was the revelation of young star Egerton, as he went from complete unknown to smoking hot talent overnight.
The role called for Egerton to be everything from a wisecracking street thug to a debonair secret agent and everything in between, with plenty of very physical action beats, snappy witticisms and cool as ice swagger mixed in, and the 25-year old Welsh newcomer handled all of it with the consummate ease of a veteran. Other than him returning to lead the planned Kingsman sequel, he doesn’t have much on his plate right now, so he’s available. Plus at 25 years of age, he sits in the sweet spot of being able to play both older and younger as the role would require.
- Garrett Hedlund
Tron: Legacy star Garret Hedlund had long been my top pick to play a young Han Solo, ever since the rumours of a solo movie first started swirling. He has a strong enough resemblance, most definitely has the acting chops, has oodles of on-screen charm and wit, and is a recognizable enough name to headline a big movie, without being such a big star that it could cause problems.
The only issue is that with him already being 30 years old, he may just be too old for the role depending on which era of Solo’s life Disney/Lucasfilm want to focus on. If it’s just before the events of the Original Trilogy, then it’s all good. Cutting back to Solo’s time as a young cadet in the Imperial Navy or even earlier though, and he’ll be too long in the tooth.
- Anthony Ingruber
Look, if you’re searching for somebody to play a young Harrison Ford, then how about somebody that just – very convincingly – played a young Harrison Ford? Anthony Ingruber is probably the least-known name on this list, with the Blake Lively fantasy-drama Age of Adaline really being the only thing of note on his filmography (before that he was just known for impression videos on Youtube), but in that movie he plays the younger version of Harrison Ford’s character and absolutely nails it.
He has a really strong resemblance to a young Ford, which obviously helps, but he also emulates all of the older actor’s mannerisms and quirks so perfectly, that I know of at least two different people who thought that the movie had actually just used some CGI wizardry to de-age Harrison Ford for those scenes. The movie doesn’t really allow us to see him wield that infamous Solo snark which is such a huge aspect of the character, but based on how he knocks the rest out of the park, he certainly has to be a big favourite. Just look at this video he did years before he would land the Age of Adaline role.
Honourable Mention: Chris Pratt
I guess Nick’s raging fanboyism would never forgive me if I didn’t mention his one true love Chris Pratt. Fans have already linked him to one iconic Harrison Ford role in Indiana Jones – which I actually think he could be great for – so of course his name is getting tossed around for this as well. Personally though, I think that he might be a tad too old for the role. Also it would be some seriously dodgy typecasting if you cast the guy who played Star Lord – a character that is basically a modern Han Solo – as Han Solo in a modern movie, but that’s just me.
So are there any other actors that you guys would like to see in the role? Lucasfilm have already confirmed that they will not be unveiling any new trailer/footage for Star Wars: The Force Awakens during their Star Wars panel at this coming weekend’s Comic-Con, so could they perhaps be revealing something else related to this movie as well? I don’t expect any casting news or anything, but perhaps a title reveal or some story details/concept art, much like they did with Star Wars: Rogue One at Star Wars Celebration earlier in the year? One can only hope!
Last Updated: July 9, 2015