Perhaps the most burning question connected to Disney’s ambitious relaunch of the Star Wars franchise centered around their plans for a prequel film telling the tale of a young Han Solo. Sure, making a new movie that brings back the old characters and introduces new ones sounded great, but how do you find someone to replace Harrison Ford? How does any actor put on that vest and step onto the Millennium Falcon with Ford’s swagger and smirk?
I don’t envy the actor who actually has to step onto a set and become Han Solo, but the role is nevertheless among the most sought-after in Hollywood right now, so the prequel’s directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller (21 Jump Street) had plenty of young talent to choose from. More than 2,000 actors met with Disney and Lucasfilm for the part, including Dave Franco (Neighbors), Miles Teller (Whiplash) and Taron Egerton (Kingsman). In the end, they narrowed the list to three: Egerton, Transformers: Age of Extinction star Jack Reynor and the young man picture above, who has apparently won the part.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Alden Ehrenreich will be stepping into Harrison Ford’s boots when the Han Solo prequel hits theaters in 2018. Ehrenreich first broke into Hollywood when Steven Spielberg saw him in a comedy short at a bat mitzvah, of all things, and that led to TV work. Television soon led to film and directors like Francis Ford Coppola (Tetro) and Woody Allen (Blue Jasmine). Ehrenreich’s knack for getting A-list directors to notice him just kept delivering, and last year he appeared as a scene-stealing cowboy actor for the Coen Brothers in Hail, Caesar!. Oh, and he’s involved in a movie with Warren Beatty. He’s only 26, but Ehrenreich has clearly hit the ground running.
So after a string of small movies for big directors, Ehrenreich is stepping into a very, very big movie to play one of the most iconic roles in the history of cinema. If these reports are true, he’s in for two years of internet scorn from Star Wars nerds who shudder at the very mention of the word “prequel.” If he gets this right, though, he’ll be a full-blown movie star.