It's official, Harrison Ford will no longer be the only Han Solo - the character is getting his own movie in 2018 starring Alden Ehrenreich, focusing on Han before A New Hope. It will be part of the Star Wars anthology films with the first of its kind coming out this December in the form of Rogue One.
This has been met with a lot of disgruntlement among fans due to Harrison Ford's iconic performance as the charming smuggler from a galaxy far, far away. How can anyone replace a character who brought pure magic to the Star Wars films with the natural charisma, sarcasm, and suave demeanor that is Han Solo? We also cannot soon forget the unforgettable and unique chemistry he had with his dearest Chewie?
Yes, it's going to be certainly difficult to follow a performance like Ford's, especially since the character has been around for almost 40 years. That doesn't stop the curiosity of a young Han Solo movie though- getting to see the back story of the much loved character seems like it's going to be a lot of fun. (Personally would love to see Han taking the Millennium Falcon for a spin for the first time or meeting Chewbacca).
Alden Ehrenreich, who is taking on the burden, is the nearly unknown 26 year-old American actor to most who has only starred in a few films. Before getting cocky about Ehrenreich bombing as the character, knowing a little more about him might uncover what makes him promising as the young Han Solo.
Ehrenreich was discovered by Steven Spielberg while performing in a friend's bat mitzvah video - Spielberg was impressed and gave him a meeting at DreamWorks. He described to Rolling Stone in an interview that the video is "a piece of shit" and that he was only 14 years old in the video. It's tough to argue with Spielberg though who must have seen the twinkle of talent that also landed him his upcoming role in the Star Wars film. Spielberg recently said that he "thought he had a lot of promise in comedy" in an ET! Online interview.
Francis Ford Coppola directed his debut film role, a film called Tetro (2009) where he played a starring role. Ehrenreich worked with Coppola again in Twixt (2011) and with Woody Allen in Blue Jasmine (2013). His most known role is in the movie Beautiful Creatures (2013), a YA novel adaptation featuring Jeremy Irons, Emma Thompson, and Viola Davis alongside him.
He steals the show in Hail! Caesar, which came out earlier this year. Even with a star studded cast of Josh Brolin, George Clooney, Scarlett Johansson, and Channing Tatum; Ehrenreich is easily the best part of the film. He adds humor and charm as a 50's western actor controlled by the studio system in the Coen Brothers movie.
He is respected by the film community, at only 26 years old the many prestigious talent he has worked with has nothing but praise for him. In a New York Times article, director Warren Beatty says that Ehrenreich has an "unusual combination of sensitivity and intelligence and humor". George Clooney also described him as “the kind of actor that steals every scene he’s in... it’s so much fun to watch how hard he works and how effortless it seems.”
It's of course difficult to imagine anyone replacing Harrison Ford's Han Solo and its likely that fans will always regard Ford as the one and only. Ehrenreich seems to be more than what meets the eye and the upcoming Han Solo film will certainly be his biggest performance yet. Here's hoping the movie tells an interesting and original tale of the space smuggler that is more than a nostalgia trip.
The untitled Han Solo film will hit theaters on May 25, 2018. It will be directed by the men behind 21 Jump Street and The Lego Movie and written by Laurence Kasdan & Jon Kasdan (Laurence wrote Star Wars episodes V, VI, and VII).