It might not be hitting screens until May 25, 2018, but news about the Untitled Han Solo Anthology Movie 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.
Han’s Solo’s Name is DEFINITELY 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.”
The Name Game
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.
— Star Wars (@starwars) February 21, 2017
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.
Could Thandie Newton be Sana Starros? She's a lot lighter skinned than Sana is depicted in the comics, but Hollywood would do that. pic.twitter.com/gA8JTZwVDK
— Erika Sorensen 🌹 (@eiridescent) February 10, 2017
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’
— Chris Miller (@chrizmillr) January 30, 2017
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:
I’ll let others sort it out, but ask yourself – what question was he answering? #cryptictweets.
— Pablo Hidalgo (@pablohidalgo) January 23, 2017
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
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 Genisys, Clarke 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
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
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
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
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
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
Very excited. Celebrating by drinking fancy whiskey out of this cup: pic.twitter.com/RpJKzmW5Ns
— Chris Miller (@chrizmillr) July 7, 2015
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.