UPDATE 1/11/17: Well, it’s official — StarWars.com has confirmed that Woody Harrelson is joining the cast of the Han Solo spin-off film. They of course didn’t confirm who exactly Harrelson would be playing, but if the initial scoop was correct, my guess is the whole “Han Solo mentor” thing still stands.
Anyways, here’s an official quote on the matter from directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller. Technically it’s a “joint statement” but, honestly, I’m just going to assume they said they same exact thing at the same exact time like the twins from The Shining, and I refuse to believe otherwise.
“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.”
PING PONG TOO?! Man, what CAN’T this guy do?
The original article from earlier this month is below:
A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away…being cast in a Star Wars movie was something of a big deal. After all, there weren’t a lot of them being made for a long time, and being cast in one almost guaranteed that you would have a major impact on the general geek culture. But now Disney is in the process of making a jillion of these Star Wars films, so it’s only a matter of time until EVERY big actor has appeared in one of these things. Soon the Star Wars universe will have a Marvel-esque treasure trove of company players, and a good actor being cast in the franchise won’t be that big a deal.
But for now…FUCKING WOODY HARRELSON IS PROBABLY GOING TO BE IN A STAR WARS MOVIE, GUYS.
The news comes courtesy of Variety, who report that Woody Harrelson is the top choice to play Han Solo’s mentor in the forthcoming spin-off. Which 1) I didn’t even know Han Solo had a mentor and 2) is pretty freaking awesome. Woody Harrelson is one of those actors that I would be perfectly happy to see in EVERYTHING: comedy, drama, big franchise blockbuster — it doesn’t matter. He’s a welcome sight in every film, and though I don’t know what to make of this “Han Solo mentor” fellow, Harrelson proved in The Hunger Games series that he was pretty talented at playing the hardened, slightly-down-on-his luck advisor-type. And considering the scoundrel that is Han Solo, it wouldn’t be too much of a stretch to have his “mentor” be the typical Woody Harrelson hooligan. Not that I’m complaining, mind you.
But as is often the case for stories like this, Variety stresses that this isn’t yet a done deal — Harrelson is simply the top choice for the role, with no deal made at this time. Still though, I would be surprised if this doesn’t go through. Working on a Star Wars movie is obviously a big deal (at this point, anyways), and Harrelson has proven from Zombieland to this summer’s War for the Planet of the Apes that he is game to play in the genre toybox. Furthermore, one of the producers on the Han Solo spin-off, Allison Shearmur, previously worked on The Hunger Games, so she has professional ties with Harrelson already. At this point, I am willing to bet Harrelson signs on for the project. And like every other film that has featured his involvement, the spin-off will only be all the better for it.
Written and directed by Phil Lord and Chris Miller, Han Solo: A Star Wars Story (title pending) is slated for release on May 25, 2018. And despite my initial apprehension, at this point, I’m absolutely excited for it. Who woulda thought, huh?
Also published on Medium.