After months of speculation Alden Ehrenreich has officially been named as the new Han Solo. Ehrenreich will portray a younger version of the legendary smuggler in the as-yet-untitled Han Solo spin-off movie.
The news was confirmed at Star Wars Celebration Europe, with filming set to begin in early 2017. Here's everything you need to know about the movie's leading man.
What's His Background?
Born in Los Angeles, Ehrenreich began acting at elementary school. Following his graduation from high school he studied acting at New York University, however he never completed his degree.
He was discovered by Steven Spielberg at a friend's bat mitzvah reception after the director viewed a comedy video produced by Ehrenreich and a friend. This led on to a meeting with the casting director at DreamWorks and television roles soon followed.
What's He Been In?
In 2005 Ehrenreich appeared as Ben Collins in the second episode of Supernatural Season 1, before appearing in CSI the following year. His feature film debut came in 2009 when he starred as Bennie Tetrocini in Francis Ford Coppola's Tetro. He has starred in a hand full of films since then including 2013's Beautiful Creatures in which he portrayed Ethan Wate.
Ehrenreich rose to fame earlier this year when he was handed a leading role in the Coen brothers film Hail, Caesar! Critics were impressed by Ehrenreich in the role of Hobie Doyle. Before the Han Solo movie arrives in May 2018, he is set to star in Rules Don't Apply and The Yellow Birds.
What Was The Competition Like?
Unsurprisingly, there was plenty of interest in the role of a young Han Solo. Ehrenreich managed to fight off competition of around 3,000 other actors who also auditioned for the role. Stars such as Dave Franco, Jack O'Connell and Charlie Cox all reportedly auditioned, but it was Ehrenreich who emerged with the part. Speaking on stage at Star Wars Celebration Europe, Ehrenreich revealed that he had "auditioned for about six months," so fans can rest assured that Disney has taken the necessary time for this decision.
Does He Look Like A Young Harrison Ford?
You be the judge:
Can you see the likeness?
Is He the Right Choice?
Time will tell of course. Big decisions over beloved characters like Han Solo are always likely to split opinion. Having beat out 3,000 other auditions, Alden Ehrenreich has clearly done something to convince Disney that he is the man to portray the young Han Solo. The company can hardly be accused of taking this decision lightly, even if some are unhappy with the result.
Amazingly, Ehrenreich was the first of the thousands to audition for the role, which suggests that he made a lasting impression on those who were responsible for making the final call.
Whether he looks the part will continue to be debated, but Ehrenreich has done enough to prove himself to Disney, now he will look to win over the fans.