January 4, 2017


Woody Harrelson May Teach Han Solo to Shoot First in 'Star Wars' Origin Story

J. Countess/Getty Images
J. Countess/Getty Images

Update (1/11): It's confirmed, Woody Harrelson will play mentor to young Han Solo in the next Star Wars non-trilogy standalone movie. On the franchise's official site, directors Phil Lord and Christopher Miller say:

“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.”

Original story (1/4): Woody Harrelson is officially a franchise whisperer. He did all four Hunger Games movies, he's top-lining this summer's War for the Planet of the Apes, and now he's being tractor beamed into the Star Wars universe. Variety reports that the 55-year-old two-time Oscar nominee is in early talks to play the mentor to a young Han Solo in the next A Star Wars Story anthology movie, an origin tale for the character pioneered by scruffy-looking nerf herder Harrison Ford.

"The ensemble has already begun filling with rising stars," Variety writes, citing anonymous sources, "but executives wanted this role to go to an actor with considerable clout, and started meeting with actors over the past several weeks." Harrelson's previous nerd-leaning projects include A Scanner Darkly and Zombieland.

The film is due May 25, 2018, although a recent report says it's being pushed to December. It'll follow December 2017's Star Wars: Episode VIII. Playing Han Solo will be Alden Ehrenreich, a 27-year-old who's gotten folks' attention in Hail, Caesar! and Blue Jasmine. Donald Glover will play Lando Calrissian; Game of Thrones' Emilia Clarke is also on board. Can't-do-any-wrong directors/writers/producers Phil Miller and Christopher Lord (The Last Man on Earth, The Lego Movie, 21 and 22 Jump Street) are at the helm.

Gareth Edwards' Rogue One, the first non-trilogy Star Wars movie since the franchise launched 40 years ago, has made $802 million worldwide since its mid-December release.