UPDATE: Production Wraps on Han Solo Film, Ron Howard Reveals the Title

Chris Tilly
Star Wars Movies
Star Wars Movies

It might not be hitting screens until May 25, 2018, but news about Solo is already emerging. And with principal photography now underway, we’re expecting announcements to be made at regular intervals over the next few months. The following feature is, therefore, everything we know about the film thus far, which we’ll be updating as and when news breaks, with the oldest info at the bottom of the article and the most recent at the top.

Production Wraps, Watch Ron Howard Reveal the Film’s Title

October 17, 2017 – Production has wrapped on the Han Solo film and director Ron Howard took to Twitter to announce the news. He also revealed the name of the film as Solo: A Star Wars Story. Watch the above video for a comical bit between Howard and an off-screen Chewbacca.

Paul Bettany Wraps

September 18, 2017 – Paul Bettany has finished up work on the Han Solo movie. The British-born actor joined the cast less than three weeks ago, as part of reshoots for the film’s new director, Ron Howard. The pair had previously worked together on A Beautiful Mind and The Da Vinci Code.

There’s still no word regarding who Bettany will be playing. But rumours that it would be a fully CG character may very well be incorrect, as the outfit he is wearing in the above photo looks like something a live-action character would wear in the Star Wars universe.

Paul Bettany Joins the Cast During Reshoots

September 1, 2017 – Ron Howard is hard at work taking the helm from Phil Lord and Christopher Miller, and it looks like he’s going to be adding to the cast when it’s necessary. Paul Bettany has been brought on as a new character. Howard confirmed the addition with the above tweet.

No word yet on what role Bettany will be playing, but it’s possible he is replacing the role that Michael K. Williams had to give up due to scheduling. If that ends up being the case, there could be some problematic issues with this last minute addition. If not, we’ll have to see how Bettany will be featured in the new film.

Michael Kenneth Williams Cut From Movie

Michael K. Williams in Hap and Leonard.

August 23, 2017 – With Ron Howard taking over directing duties on the Han Solo movie and reshoots currently happening, there was bound to be comings and goings. And Michael Kenneth Williams is the first casualty, the actor – who was apparently playing a half-human, half-animal in the film – being cut out of the movie due to scheduling issues with the film he’s currently shooting – spy thriller The Red Sea Diving Resort.

Speaking to Deadline, Williams said “When Ron Howard got hired to finish out the film, there were some reshoot issues that needed to be done in regards to my character, in order for it to match the new direction which the producers wanted Ron to carry the film in. And that would have required me on a plane a month ago to London, to Pinewood, to do reshoots. But I’m here, on location in Africa. It’s scheduling.”

Williams says he’s disappointed as he felt great about the work he’d done with the film’s original directors – Phil Lord and Chris Miller. But adds that he hopes it isn’t the end of his Star Wars journey. “I don’t think that me not being in the Star Wars family is final,” Williams told Deadline. “I left with a very good taste in my mouth about the whole family, and I hope that I left a good taste in their mouth. They’re a great group of people.”

First Look at Chewie in Action. Kinda.

July 31, 2017 – Emilia Clarke has shared a video of Chewbacca raging on the Han Solo set. To celebrate reaching 10m followers on Instagram, the Game of Thrones star posted a video of the Wookie running from side-to-side, then appearing to attack. Joonas Suotamo now plays Chewbacca in the Star Wars flicks, while we STILL have no idea who Clarke is playing in the movie which STILL doesn’t have a name.

Vader Appearing at School Rather than in Han Solo Movie

Seems Darth Vader WON’T be appearing in the Han Solo movie. Spencer Wilding – the actor who now plays Vader in the Star Wars movie – recently pulled out of a convention, sparking a flurry of rumours that he would be donning the big black helmet for the prequel. But turns out that isn’t the case – rather Wilding will be visiting a couple of schools in Australia that week. Writing on his Facebook page, Wilding said

“Just to let u all no I am 💯 % not filming on starwars… the comic con promoters of the show put 1on1 together and got 69 lol and they just try to guess y I canceled and came up with that … so sorry guys defo not true they have removed it of there site now . Star Wars is such s huge show and it’s amazing how a rumor like that can spread so fast so we have nipped it in the bud . I can’t wait to see HanSolo as much as u lot so for now.”

Han Solo Movie is Now a Willow Reunion

Ron Howard (l) and Warwock Davis (r) on the set of Willow.

July 27, 2017 – Warwick Davis Tweeted that he was on the Han Solo set on May 4th, suggesting he was visiting old friends, or actually had a part in the movie….

Now the latter has been confirmed, via a Tweet from Warwick’s old Willow director – and current Han Solo director – Ron Howard…

Followed by one from Davis himself…

Davis has of course appeared in previous Star Wars movies, playing Wicket in Return of the Jedi and the Ewok movies, a whole bunch of characters in The Phantom Menace, Wollivan in The Force Awakens, Weeteef Cyubee in Rogue One and Rukh in Star Wars Rebels.

There’s no word yet regarding who he’ll play in the Han Solo movie, but here’s hoping it’s some kind of Willow throwback.

Rogue One Darth Vader Actor May Join Cast

Darth Vader in Rogue One.

July 26, 2017 – Spencer Wilding, the actor who played Darth Vader in Rogue One, may be joining the Han Solo movie. According to Star Wars News Net, Wilding recently canceled a convention appearance stating that “he will be filming the newest film in the Star Wars Universe.”

If true, this could mean Vader will be making an appearance in the Solo spin-off. That’d be big news, but it’s not all that surprising considering Vader and his likeness have become a cornerstone of the new Star Wars films, even the ones he’s not actually in.

First Look at Woody Harrelson On Set

July 10, 2017 – TMZ has posted some on-set photos that feature Alden Ehrenreich’s Han Solo and Woody Harrelson, our first glimpse at the latter in character. Slightly younger Chewbacca – who looks a lot like old Chewbacca – also features, as does a woman, who may well be Game of Thrones star Emilia Clarke. The grainy photos were apparently shot while Phil Lord and Chris Miller were still directing the prequel, and don’t give much away, though TMZ claims the scene is taking place in some kind of space station.

Ron Howard Directing

Ron Howard has landed the biggest gig in the galaxy.

June 23, 2017 – It’s official – the artist formerly known as Richie Cunningham will be directing the remainder of the Han Solo movie. Kathleen Kennedy made the announcement via the following statement: “At Lucasfilm, we believe the highest goal of each film is to delight, carrying forward the spirit of the saga that George Lucas began forty years ago. With that in mind, we’re thrilled to announce that Ron Howard will step in to direct the untitled Han Solo film. We have a wonderful script, an incredible cast and crew, and the absolute commitment to make a great movie. Filming will resume the 10th of July.”

Ron Howard Directing?

Could Ron Howard be about to take the reigns on a Star Wars movie?

June 21, 2017 – Big, BIG news on the Han Solo front. Phil Lord and Chris Miller are no longer directing the movie due to “creative differences.” You can read our full article on their departure here, but the statement from Lucasfilm boss Kathleen Kenned reads as follows: “Phil Lord and Christopher Miller are talented filmmakers who have assembled an incredible cast and crew, but it’s become clear that we had different creative visions on this film, and we’ve decided to part ways. A new director will be announced soon.”

Who that new director will be is now the source of wild speculation, with The Hollywood Reporter claiming that Ron Howard, Joe Johnstone and Lawrence Kasdan are the current frontrunners to land the gig. Watch this space…

The Title Might Be ‘Solo’

han solo star wars shirt

June 14, 217 – Some leaked photos of a film crew shirt have made their way online and they could reveal the title of the movie. The shirt simply says, Solo. Is it possible that this is the finalized title? Another shirt – from the stunt team – does call the movie Han Solo so this isn’t an official confirmation yet. But, short titles often go over well with audiences and marketing executives. And using Han’s iconic blaster as the L in his name? Cute. It is worth noting that the crew shirt has a picture of a movie camera with the phrase, “We shot first,” underneath it. Even cuter.

Thandie Newton Says Han Solo Shoot Defied Her Expectations

June 7, 2017 – Speaking to Oprah Winfrey as part of Variety’s ‘Actors on Actors’ series, Thandie Newton discussed landing a role in the Han Solo movie, but wouldn’t be drawn on specific details. Though Newton did reveal that the experience was different to what she was expecting. “I just had these ideas of what it would be, you know, and it was completely different to everything I imagined and I’m so thrilled. But I’ve signed a non-disclosure and can’t say a word, which is frustrating because you know me – I like to chat it up.”

Is This Tatooine?

June 3, 2017 – Leaked photos might give us our first glimpse at Tatooine in the Han Solo movie. The pictures – which StarWarsNewsNet found via Canarias7 – feature a desert landscape filled with damaged and abandoned buildings and huts. The Spanish site claims the location is Corellia – Han Solo’s home – but with that planet featuring forests and jungles, it seems unlikely. We know Tatooine is a desert planet – one where Solo spent time in the Cantina and did business with Jabba the Hutt – so the evidence points to young Han spending time there in the new film.

The First Photos of the Han Solo Movie Set Are Crazy

May 19, 2017 – The shifty crew over at TMZ have posted some spy photos from the set of the Han Solo movie. In them, you can clearly see Alden Ehrenreich in a costume which is very different from Han Solo’s OG outfit. Additionally, there are a few shots of some odd vehicles, including one that Han appears to drive that’s reminiscent of the classic Adam West-era Batmobile. There are wheels visible on the vehicles, but we’re pretty sure those are going to be taken out using visual effects.

First Look at Han’s Hair?

May 15, 2017 – Alden Ehrenreich was hanging out with Woody Harrelson and Jennifer Lawrence in London over the weekend, and a pic that Woody posted on his Instagram might have given us our first glimpse at Han Solo’s hair-do in the film. And it looks suitably retro and Han Solo-esque. So bravo to whoever has been chopping those locks.

We Might Have the Names of Two New Characters

Do we now know who Fleabag star Phoebe Waller-Bridge is playing in the film?

May 4, 2017 – The following could be SPOILERS, so tread carefully. But, if MakingStarWars is to be believed, two new characters in the movie will be called Mother Proxima and Val. Mother Proxima will apparently be some kind of puppet, operated by one of the guys responsible for BB-8, Dave Chapman. If the character also also has an element of performance-captured CGI, this could be the role that Fleabag star Phoebe Waller-Bridge is playing. As for Val, the site knows little about the character other than the fact that he/she gets “top billing” so the smart money is on this being Emilia Clark’s role.

Han’s Solo’s Name is DEFINITELY Han Solo

Han Solo = Han Solo.

April 17, 2017 – As we thought might be the case below, Disney boss Bob Iger didn’t literally mean that Han Solo is not his name. Speaking to MTV at Star Wars Celebration, Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy cleared up the confusion by saying “I’m not sure that that’s entirely what Bob meant. There’s more to Han Solo’s name, but it’s not that it’s not his name. It’s obviously his name. It will always be his name.”

Case closed.

The Name Game

Harrison Ford as Han Solo.

March 24, 2017 – While speaking at a USC business event, Disney CEO Bob Iger said the following: “We’re actually shooting now an origin story of Han Solo, which will come out in 2018, that picks up with Han Solo when he was 18-years-old and takes him through when he was 24. There are a few significant things that happen in Han Solo’s life, like acquiring a certain vehicle and meeting a certain Wookie, that will happen in this film. You will discover how he got his name.”

Now Iger might just be talking about Solo gaining his reputation as the galaxy’s greatest smuggler. But if he’s speaking literally, it sounds like the film will explain how he came by his name. Intriguing.

Han Solo Cast Unveiled

February 21, 2017 – The first pic of the cast has been posted from the film’s set. It features directors Chris Miller and Phil Lord at the controls of the Millennium Falcon alongside stars Alden Ehrenreich, Woody Harrelson, Emilia Clarke, Donald Glover, Phoebe Waller-Bridge, and Joonas Suotamo, who is in his Chewbacca costume. There’s no sign of Thandie Newton, but a press release on StarWars.com confirms that she’ll be in the film.

The release states that principal photography kicked off February 20, with the co-directors quoted as saying: “Watching such inspired people from all over the world, with such unique voices, come together for the sole purpose of making art, is nothing short of miraculous. We can’t think of anything funny to say, because we just feel really moved, and really lucky.”

The following crew members were also confirmed: Chris Dickens (Editor), Dominic Tuohy (SFX Supervisor), Rob Bredow (VFX Supervisor), Brad Allan (Action Designer), Neal Scanlan (Creature & Droid FX Creative Supervisor), Neil Lamont (Production Designer), Dave Crossman and Glyn Dillon (Co-Costume Designers), Jamie Wilkinson (Prop Master), Lisa Tomblin (Hair), Amanda Knight (Make-Up) and Nina Gold (UK Casting Director).

Thandie Newton May Join the Cast

February 10, 2017 – Westworld actress Thandie Newton may join the cast in an undisclosed role. Because Newton is a woman of color, there’s been some fan speculation that she’ll play Sana Starros, though we don’t think she’s quite a match for that character. Expect to hear more soon.

Also up for a part is Phoebe Waller-Bridge, star of Amazon’s Fleabag. Again, nothing known about her possible role as yet, but Variety  reports that she’s in the running for a motion capture performance-related part.

The Movie Won’t Be Called ‘Red Cup’

January 30, 2017 – Co-director Chris Miller posted the above Tweet to herald the start of principal photography on ‘Red Cup’ together with the words ‘Han First Shot’, in reference to the Greedo debacle. And while we won’t get into that controversy here, we will state, for the record, that this name is just a placeholder and the film won’t be called ‘Red Cup.’

Woody Harrelson Might be Playing Garris Shrike

January 11, 2017 – Rumours had been circulating that Woody Harrelson would appear in the movie, and in early January 2017 we got confirmation, with StarWars.com making the announcement and directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller stating, “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.”

But which character is he playing? Speculation was rife that it would be some kind of mentor role, akin to his character in the Hunger Games movie, Haymitch. And as Garris Shrike fits that bill in multiple Star Wars books, fans started to put two-and-two together, prompting Variety to ask him if he was indeed playing Shrike in the movie. And having squirmed in his chair for a few seconds, Harrelson said yes.

Though with Lucasfilm’s Pablo Hidalgo Tweeting the following, there’s a chance he might have been answering the ‘mentor’ portion of the question rather than referring to the name:

Either way, if you’re interested in finding out more about Garris Shrike, he has an extensive page on Wookiepedia, which includes details of his rescuing Solo from the streets, raising him, training him to be a thief and con-man, and ultimately falling out with him.

Emilia Clark is in the Film

Emilia Clarke kicking ass and taking names in Terminator: Genisys.

November 18, 2016 – London-born actress Emilia Clarke– who shot to fame as Daenerys Targaryan on Game of Thrones – has been cast in the film, though we don’t yet know who she’ll play. Maybe a love interest for Han or Lando? Or maybe the pair of them, with both scoundrels competing for her affections.

That said, having played the ruthless ‘Mother of Dragons’ in GOT and Sarah Connor in Terminator GenisysClarke has proved her mettle onscreen, so don’t be surprised to see her following in the footsteps of recent Star Wars heroines Rey and Jyn by giving the boys a run for their money.

Donald Glover is Lando Calrissian

Donald Glover in Atlanta.

October 21, 2016 – 2016 was a big year for Donald Glover, who until that point was best known as Troy Barnes on Community. Not only did this jack-of-all-trades create, write, produce, direct and star in acclaimed TV comedy drama Atlanta, he also released a brilliant Childish Gambino album and landed a role in Spider-Man: Homecoming. To cap it all off, he was cast as Han’s pal Lando in the forthcoming flick.

The film will apparently depict Calrissian “in his formative years as a scoundrel on the rise in the galaxy’s underworld.”

“We’re so lucky to have an artist as talented as Donald join us,” Lord and Miller said at the time. “These are big shoes to fill, and an even bigger cape, and this one fits him perfectly, which will save us money on alterations. Also, we’d like to publicly apologize to Donald for ruining Comic-Con for him forever.”

Bradford Young is Shooting the Film

Bradford Young on the set of Arrival. Credit: Jan Thijs © Paramount Pictures.

September 22, 2016 – Acclaimed cinematographer Bradford Young will be shooting the Solo flick. Young’s previous credits include Arrival, Selma and A Most Violent Year.

Speaking to Collider about collaborating with Miller and Lord on the film, Young said: “These cats are subversive, don’t let it fool you. They are prepared to say exactly what they wanna say and it’s complex, it’s layered, it’s smart, it’s visual, it’s dramatic, it’s funny, it’s uneasy, it’s unexpected. These cats are—I’m honored to have them in the list of directors I’ve worked with, that’s for sure.”

It Might Turn Into a Trilogy

The original Lando and Han.

July 24, 2016 – The New York Daily News states that Alden Ehrenreich has signed up for three Han Solo pictures. And while this is common practice on blockbusters, they also quote an anonymous source who claims that a trilogy is planned…

“There is a real sense of excitement around the Han Solo movie and its potential,” says the insider. “Given that Han’s early adventures do not need to be tied to the Empire, it leaves storylines open with the opportunity to really give fans something different. They can explore new galaxies and crazy creatures and bring in a wide array of new characters. They feel that his character has the right potential to become a central figure in several movies.”

Alden Ehrenreich is Han Solo

July 17, 2016 – Disney and Lucasfilm reportedly looked at more than 3,000 actors for the role of young Han Solo, with early frontrunners including Taron Egerton, Miles Teller, Dave Franco, Blake Jenner, Jack Reynor and Jack O’Connell.

But ultimately, Alden Ehrenreich landed the coveted role. The California native has appeared in the likes of Beautiful Creatures, Stoker and Blue Jasmine, and at this point is probably best known for playing Hobie Doyle, the intellectually challenged actor who struggles to say ‘would that it were’ in the Coen brothers’ Hail Caesar!.

The announcement was made at Star Wars Celebration in London, where Miller and Lord said that Ehrenreich was pretty much the first actor they auditioned, and Alden revealed that he screen-tested inside the Millennium Falcon.

Chewbacca Will Feature

Chewy and Han in The Force Awakens.

March 8, 2016 – We kind of assumed that young Han Solo would be hanging out with young Chewbacca, but Disney boss Bob Iger confirmed that fact at the Deutsche Bank Media, Internet and Telecom Conference. Speaking of the forthcoming Star Wars spin-offs, Iger said, “We have others in the works, including one, which is an origin story about Han and Chewy.”

The Kasdans are Writing

Director J.J. Abrams and screenwriter Lawrence Kasdan on the set of The Force Awakens. Credit: David James ©Lucasfilm.

July 7, 2015 – The screenplay is being written by Lawrence Kasdan and his son Jon. The Force is strong in Kasdan senior, the Hollywood veteran having co-written The Empire Strikes Back, Return of the Jedi and The Force Awakens. His other writing credits include Raiders of the Lost Ark, Grand Canyon and The Big Chill. Kasdan junior wrote and directed indie features The First Time and In the Land of Women.

The story will apparently focus on how young Han Solo became the smuggler, thief and scoundrel whom Luke Skywalker and Obi-Wan Kenobi first encountered in the cantina Mos Eisley.

The pair also released a statement when the announcement was made, saying, “We’re so excited to be working with Chris and Phil, who will bring a fresh new dimension to the Star Wars universe. They’re two of the smartest, funniest and most original filmmakers around, and the ideal choice to tell the story of Han Solo, one of the coolest characters in the galaxy.”

The LEGO Guys Are Directing

July 7, 2015 – Longtime collaborators Phil Lord and Chris Miller have been charged with the task of bringing young Han Solo’s journey to life onscreen. The pair have had a pretty meteoric rise to prominence, meeting in their freshman year of college at Dartmouth, landing a development deal at Disney Television Animation soon after, and then making the transition into movies with apparent ease.

Their first film – Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs – was a critical and commercial hit. The pair then directed the big-screen version of 21 Jump Street, which was also a hit with critics and audiences alike. And their third film – The LEGO Movie – was a bona fide smash, grossing more than $450m worldwide.

That success helped Lord and Miller land the Star Wars gig, with the pair posting the above Tweet and releasing the following statement when the announcement was made: “This is the first film we’ve worked on that seems like a good idea to begin with. We promise to take risks, to give the audience a fresh experience, and we pledge ourselves to be faithful stewards of these characters who mean so much to us. This is a dream come true for us. And not the kind of dream where you’re late for work and all your clothes are made of pudding, but the kind of dream where you get to make a film with some of the greatest characters ever, in a film franchise you’ve loved since before you can remember having dreams at all.”

Untitled Han Solo Anthology Movie will be released May 25, 2018.

Chris Tilly
FANDOM Managing Editor in the UK. At this point my life is a combination of 1980s horror movies, Crystal Palace football matches, and episodes of I'm Alan Partridge. The first series. When he was in the travel tavern. Not the one after.
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