UPDATED 1/11/17: Woody Harrelson has officially boarded the forthcoming Han Solo prequel. The Star Wars official website has now officially confirmed the two-time Oscar nominated actor will in deed join the project. Directors Christopher Miller and Phil Lord commented on Harrelson’s casting: “We couldn’t be more excited to work with an artist with as much depth and range as Woody. His ability to find both humor and pathos, often in the same role, is truly unique. He is also very good at ping pong.” Harrelson is reportedly pegged to be portrays mentor to a young Han Solo, however that part of the equation still hasn’t been officially confirmed.
UPDATED 1/4/17: It appears that Woody Harrelson wasn’t the only name floating around to portray Han Solo’s mentor in the upcoming Lucasfilm prequel film. While Disney and Lucasfilm have remained mum on official casting, The Hollywood Reporter’s Borys Kit threw out the news that Oscar winner Christian Bale was apparently in the mix for the same part that Harrelson is now being eyed for.
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
EARLIER: Variety broke news that Woody Harrelson appears to be talks to join the forthcoming and currently untitled Han Solo prequel project. Reportedly, the veteran two-time Oscar nominated actor is being eyed to portray mentor to a young Han Solo – rising actor Alden Ehrenreich (Hail, Caesar!) will step into Harrison Ford’s iconic shoes. It may prove a fit as Harrelson recently played mentor to Jennifer Lawrence’s Katniss in the hugely successful The Hunger Games franchise.
The Han Solo prequel project marks yet another notch in Disney’s ambitious Star Wars universe reboot since acquiring Lucasfilm which has already yielded tremendous success with Star Wars: The Force Awakens and the currently active Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. Like Rogue One, the Han Solo project will take place before the events of Star Wars: A New Hope. Disney has yet to confirm or weigh in on Harrelson’s potential casting in the project, but it makes a certain degree of sense that a few more seasoned actors would be considered to join the film alongside the already confirmed rising talent to appear in the film like Ehrenreich. Donald Glover (The Martian) will play a young Lando Calrissian, while Game of Thrones star Emilia Clarke has already been confirmed for a part as well.
Production is scheduled to begin later this month with The LEGO Movie and 21 Jump Street team of Phil Lord and Christopher Miller taking directing duties from a screenplay credited to Jake Kasdan and Lawrence Kasdan. Kathleen Kennedy and Allison Shearmur are producers – Shearmur’s involvement may bode well for Harrelson’s odd considering she also produced The Hunger Games franchise.
This past year, Harrelson was seen in Triple 9, Now You See Me 2 and critically admired coming of age film The Edge of Seventeen. He has a host of films coming forward this year including Martin McDonagh’s Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, Destin Daniel Cretton’s The Glass Castle, the indie dark comedy Wilson and the blockbuster-in-waiting War for the Planet of the Apes. Harrelson is currently shooting Rob Reiner’s political drama Shock and Awe.
The Han Solo prequel is expected to hit theaters on May 25, 2018. We will stay tuned to the latest.