It’s official, Star Wars is back. With the release of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Disney and Lucasfilm successfully kicked off a new era in the galaxy far, far away. Before the release of that film, the studios were already planning to release a new Star Wars film every year, with the franchises first-ever spinoff in the war-centric Rogue One covering 2016. With the ridiculously joyful success of The Force Awakens, fans everywhere are clinging for the universe of force-users and starships more than ever, making it the highest of priority.
With Gareth Edwards’ Rogue One currently filming and Rian Johnson’s Episode VIII ready to begin production, it’s time for the next film up, Phil Lord and Chris Miller’s Han Solo spinoff to get itself going. That means it’s time to find a leading man to take over the iconic role stapled by the scruffy-looking nerf-herder himself, Harrison Ford. A report dropped a number of weeks back revealing that Disney and Lucasfilm were looking at around 2,500 young actors for the role, solidifying that the studios were taking their time and doing everything they can to get the casting right. Well, it looks like they may be getting closer to their decision as the shortlist of contending names has been revealed.
Variety broke the news earlier yesterday, with their sources telling them that “execs have cut the list down to about a dozen actors”. The list includes Miles Teller (Whiplash), Ansel Elgort (The Fault in Our Stars), Dave Franco (Neighbors), Jack Reynor (Transformers: Age of Extinction), Scott Eastwood (The Longest Ride), Logan Lerman (Fury), Emory Cohen (Brooklyn) and Blake Jenner (Everybody Wants Some).
Variety’s report doesn’t specify a clear frontrunner, but continue to say that all-around Star Wars Producer Kathleen Kennedy will begin screen-testing the actors with director’s Lord and Miller, with “a decision expected in the next couple weeks”. Although the film doesn’t begin filming until next January, the report says that Lucasfilm could make the early casting decision to mark a possible cameo in the upcoming Rogue One, just as Disney’s other juggernaut universe is doing with Spider-Man and Captain America: Civil War.
I’ll be quite honest, I’m not a huge fan of the list. Don’t get me wrong, it includes some raw young talent in Teller, Elgort, and Lerman. Also, it’s impossible and would just be wrong of me to criticize a casting decision before seeing any of kind representation of the body of work, but it is just hard to see most of these names take over a role. I say most because there are two names that stick out to me: Logan Lerman and Scott Eastwood. While his role as Percy Jackson is good and all, Logan Lerman has been building some serious buzz as a young actor with such films as The Perks of Being a Wallflower, Noah, and last year’s Fury. His name was also thrown into the possible Spider-Man mix, so it seems like Disney sees the talent in him just as we do. As for Eastwood, although not very many mainstream roles, he’s been picking up some steam lately. He also had a part in Fury, as well as this year’s Suicide Squad and Snowden. While Eastwood would probably be the ideal pick as far as looks go, I can easily see either of these actors take up the heavy role of young Han Solo.
Phil Lord and Chris Miller’s Han Solo spinoff has a May 25th, 2018 release date. What do you think about the shortlist? Any names pop out to you? Are there any names that you were hoping for that didn’t make the list? Stay close for more on the hugely, hugely anticipated Star Wars spinoff.