In less than a month, Disney and Lucasfilm’s upcoming epic space opera “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” will make its debut on the big screen. Ahead of the release, several sequels and spin-offs are reportedly being developed as well.
One of the most talked about anthology films is the one that centres on Han Solo, a smuggler played by Harrison Ford in the original trilogy.
“The LEGO Movie” directors Christopher Miller and Phil Lord are on board to helm the Han Solo standalone movie, which will reportedly focus on “how young Han Solo became the smuggler, thief and scoundrel whom Luke Skywalker and Obi-Wan Kenobi first encountered in the cantina at Mos Eisley”.
The film has the widest casting search ever because sources told The Hollywood Reporter that over 2,500 actors have apparently had auditions or meetings-related to the project. Jeanne McCarthy, the casting director for Miller and Lord’s “21 Jump Street” movies”, is attached to narrow down the casting choices for the film.
“This has been the easiest movie to audition for,” an agent told THR. “They are seeing everyone.”
Though Lucasfilm head Kathleen Kennedy was quoted as saying that the young Han Solo would be in his “high teens, low 20s”, they’ve auditioned high-profile names like Aaron Taylor-Johnson (age 25), Miles Teller (age 28), Hunter Parrish (age 28), Dave Franco (age 30), and Rami Malek (age 34).
Best known for his role in “Kick-Ass”, Aaron Taylor-Johnson’s recent film credits include “Godzilla” and “Avengers: Age of Ultron“. As for Miles Teller, he recently starred in “Whiplash” and “Fantastic Four“. Hunter Parrish starred in “Weeds” while Dave Franco and Rami Malek starred in “21 Jump Street” and “Mr. Robot” respectively.
Scores of young actors also auditioned to star in the project, as THR reported that they’ve “either read or sent in a tape who fall more into the range Kennedy identified”.
“The Walking Dead” star Chandler Riggs (age 16) was among the young actors shortlisted for the young Han Solo role. Other shortlisted actors include Leo Howard (age 18), “Jurassic World” star Nick Robinson (age 20), “The Fault in Our Stars” actor Ansel Elgort (age 21), Jack Reynor (age 23), Landon Liboiron (age 23), and “The Purge” actor Tony Oller (age 24).
“The Perks of Being A Wallflower” star Logan Lerman (age 23), who was previously shortlisted to play the new Spider-Man, also auditioned for the role of young Han Solo.
Other names that are also under consideration include:
- Colton Haynes (“Teen Wolf”, “Arrow”, age 27)
- Max Thieriot (“Bates Motel”, age 27)
- Ed Westwick (“Gossip Girl”, age 28)
- Tom Felton (the “Harry Potter” films, age 28)
- Joshua Sasse (“Galavant”, age 27)
Lord and Miller still have plenty of time to make a decision because the film will only begin shooting in January 2017. This also allows some of the younger candidates to age into the character.
Though Anthony Ingruber played a younger version of Harrison Ford’s character in “Age of Adeline“, there was no mention of him being auditioned for the Han Solo role.
The anthology movie will be based on a script co-written by writer-director Lawrence Kasdan and his son, Jon Kasdan.
Best known for his works on “The Raiders of the Lost Ark” and “Grand Canyon”, Lawrence was among the writers who co-wrote the screenplays for the old and new “Star Wars” movies, including “The Empire Strikes Back”, “Return of the Jedi”, and “The Force Awakens”. On the other hand, Jon was the director of 2007’s “In The Land of Women” and 2012’s “The First Time”. His writing credits include “Freaks and Geeks” and “Dawson’s Creek”.
Lawrence will be executive producing the movie alongside Jason McGatlin. Will Allegra will co-produce it with Kennedy.
Lord and Miller are currently working on Warner Bros’ “The Flash” and LEGO-branded films, which are slated for release over the next 4 years. The spin-off films, “LEGO Ninjago” and “LEGO Batman”, are slated for release on 23rd September 2016 and 26th May 2017 respectively. The sequel for “The LEGO Movie” is set to be released in 2018. They will also be directing the animated “Spider-Man” film, which is slated for release on 20th July 2018.
J.J. Abrams’s “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” is scheduled to arrive on 17th December this year while the Han Solo standalone movie is slated for release on 25th May 2018.