The Han Solo Star Wars (2018) anthology film, which was first announced in 2015, is set to come out in May 2018. Like Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (2016), the Han Solo film is a “stand alone” story set in the Star Wars universe. In this case, Han Solo will be set before the events of the original trilogy, showing what Han Solo was up to before he met Obi-Wan Kenobi and Luke Skywalker in A New Hope (1977). Han Solo is slated to come out in 2018, between Episode VIII: The Last Jedi (2017) and the currently untitled Episode IX.
This article gathers news articles and information about the Han Solo film. In addition to the current information that is listed, be sure to check back for updates – as we learn more about the film, we will add new information and expand the article! At the same time, keep up to date with all our information on Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi.
Here is Everything You Need to Know About Han Solo (2018):
20. Production Status: Currently Filming!
On January 30, 2017, the film makers announced that they had begun filming Han Solo (working title “Red Cup”) on Twitter. One of the directors, Chris Miller, tweeted a picture along with the caption “Han First Shot”.
— Chris Miller (@chrizmillr) January 30, 2017
The caption is a play on the famous line “Han Shot first”, a reference to the fan outrage after George Lucas attempted to re-edit the sequence in Mos Eisley so that Greedo shot at Han Solo first. Lucas retroactively felt that if Han was a hero, he would never shoot and kill someone if they had not attempted to attack him first; many fans, however, felt that Han shooting at Greedo first was central to his character development.
Kathleen Kennedy had said that filming would commence in February 2017, and so this late January start date coincides closely with her estimation. Woody Harrelson is set to begin filming his character’s sequences in March 2017. The film’s title is still TBA, but it may be announced at the D23 Expo.
19. Alden Ehrenreich as Han Solo
After a lengthy search, Han Solo found its scruffy-looking nerf herder. Alden Ehrenreich is set to take over from Harrison Ford and play the captain of the Millennium Falcon. Ehrenreich is far from an amateur, having appeared in a number of films, including Francis Ford Coppela’s Tetro (2009) and Woody Allen’s Blue Jasmine (2013).
Ehrenreich is perhaps best known for his role in the Coen brothers’ recent Hail, Caesar! (2016), where he played Hobie Doyle alongside George Clooney, Ralph Fiennes, and Josh Brolin. Hobie Doyle is a famous actor, known for his horse and lasso tricks in cowboy movies; however, a movie executive casts him as the troubled romantic lead in an understated period piece, which leads to frustration for the director, Laurence Laurentz (Ralph Fiennes). Hail, Caesar! showcases both Ehrenreich’s brilliant comic timing and his ability to learn new skills: for the role of Hobie, Ehrenreich learned how to do lasso tricks.
18. Ehrenreich’s competition for Han Solo Was Intense
The directors of Han Solo, Phil Lord and Chris Miller, auditioned over 2,500 actors for the eponymous role. After all, Han Solo is one of the most famous movie characters of all time, and finding the right replacement for Harrison Ford required time and effort. Alden Ehrenreich, the filmmakers confessed, was actually the first actor to audition for the role. Over the course of six months, Ehrenreich completed various rounds of auditions, including acting alongside Chewbacca and pretending to pilot the Falcon. The directors described the intense process as an “audition pentathalon,” but noted that throughout the various stages of the auditions, Ehrenreich was a clear favorite and the man to beat. Ehrenreich competed against many talented actors, including Miles Teller (Whiplash), Aaron Taylor-Johnson (Kick-Ass, Avengers: Age of Ultron), and Logan Lerman (Fury) – and reportedly even Harry Styles! Eventually, he persevered and won the legendary role. Despite the competition and the long time frame, Ehrenreich described the process as “more exciting than it was nerve-wracking.”
17. Donald Glover as Lando Calrissian
Speculation over whether or not Lando Calrissian would appear in the young Han Solo movie began as soon as it was announced. While the search for Lando was not as large as the search for Solo, Chris Miller and Phil Lord announced that actor Donald Glover would play the role of Lando. In many ways, Glover is better known than Ehrenreich: he is an award-winning rapper and singer as Childish Gambino and known for his roles on Atlanta (2016) and Community (2009). Glover is “honored” to be playing Lando Calrissian, and has expressed his excitement in many interviews.
Disney provided few details about what role that Lando will play in the upcoming film, but given Glover’s casting, it’s safe to say that Lando will be a central role. It’s possible that the famed game of sabacc, where Han won the Millennium Falcon from Lando, will appear in the upcoming film.
16. Woody Harrelson as A Criminal Mentor
The directors confirmed Woody Harrelson’s casting in January 2017 in a strange blurb on his talents, writing:
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.
There has been some confusion over who Harrelson is playing. Harrelson had said that he was playing a mentor of Han’s that was “a bit of a criminal.” When a reporter asked Harrelson if he was playing Garris Shrike (Han Solo’s mentor in the Star Wars Legends novels), Harrelson responded in the affirmative. Later, however, Pablo Hidalgo, the creative executive of the Lucasfilm story group, clarified and cast doubt on the idea that Harrelson was playing Shrike. Instead, Harrelson was only confirming that he was Solo’s criminal mentor, not that he was playing a live-action version of Shrike in the upcoming film.
15. Phoebe Waller-Bridger as a Droid
In classic Disney secrecy, Phoebe Waller-Bridger’s role has been the cause of some confusion. At first, it was rumored that she was tied to the project. Then, she denied these rumors, saying, “I know nothing. Absolutely nothing. It’s all rumors,” which seemed to put an end to her involvement. However, Waller-Bridger’s official casting was announced around a week later with her inclusion in the cast photo in late February 2017, which makes us think that she probably did know something.
Phoebe Waller-Bridger will be playing a droid which some are calling the “first female droid”. Of course, gender and droids is a silly subject to begin with and there was much ado made about BB-8’s gender during the promotion of The Force Awakens even though it didn’t matter. But, additionally, there are other examples of “female” programmed droids in the Star Wars universe (BD-3000, Bettie-Bot VJ), so Waller-Bridger’s character would not really be a first. It is unknown what sort of droid she will be playing or if she will also be involved in motion-capture, like Alan Tudyk as K2SO in Rogue One (2016).
14. Emilia Clarke as… ???
Emilia Clarke has also been cast in the Han Solo movie. However, at this time, her character’s name has not been announced. Disney’s announcement was purposefully vague about Clarke’s role, saying that she would “round out a dynamic cast of characters” without giving any details. Fans have speculated that she could be many different Star Wars characters from Star Wars Legends or the new canon expanded universe. It is also possible that Clarke is playing a new character entirely.
Clarke is best known for her portrayal of Daenerys Targaryen, the Mother of Dragons, in Game of Thrones (2011). Even though Clarke is better known for her popular television character, she is an established leading lady in film, playing Sarah Connor in Terminator Genisys (2015) and Louisa Clark in Me Before You (2016). There is no doubt that she will play a significant role in the upcoming Han Solo movie, perhaps as a romantic interest for the young Han.
13. Michael K. Williams As… ???
Disney and Lucasfilm officially announced that Michael K. Williams was also cast in the upcoming Han Solo film. The announcement seemed purposefully vague and did not include the role that Williams would play. Many fans have speculated that Williams might be playing the villain of the film. This is in due to the fact that the film does not have a clear villain at the moment (although Woody Harrelson’s character could serve as a villain) and Williams has played some incredible villainous characters in the past.
Williams, who has had an impressive career, is most widely known for playing Omar Little in The Wire (2002). He has appeared in a number of television roles, including Boardwalk Empire (2010), Bessie (2015), and mostly recently, The Night Of (2016). In addition to his television credits, Williams has also appeared in films including The Road (2009), 12 Years A Slave (2012), and Inherent Vice (2014).
12. The Film Will Span Six Years
At a press conference in late March, Disney CEO Bob Iger said that the upcoming Han Solo film would take place over the course of six years, from when Han is eighteen to twenty-four years old. Reporter Ben Fritz tweeted out Iger’s remarks:
Han Solo movie will follow him from age 18 through 24 and show him finding the Falcon, meeting Chewbacca, and getting his name, Iger says
— Ben Fritz (@benfritz) March 23, 2017
Over the course of the film, Iger continued, audiences would get to see Han as he meets and befriends Chewbacca and wins the Millennium Falcon (which presumably is at least part of how Lando factors into the plot!). These important experiences helped to shape the Han that audiences know and love in the original trilogy, and while it may not be surprising that the Han Solo film will cover those events, it is still noteworthy that they are confirmed.
While Iger’s comments about Han Solo “getting his name”, may have overshadowed the rest of his comments, this establishes a clear timeline of how the Han Solo film fits within the larger Star Wars timeline and contains a lot of information about what will happen in the film. It remains unclear how the time jumps over the course of six years will be handled.
11. Han Solo’s Name is NOT Changing
After Bob Iger spoke about the Han Solo movie in late March, speculation arose around his comment that the movie would include the story of Han “getting his name”. Some fans felt uncomfortable with the idea that Han might have another birth name or that “Han Solo” might be a fake name that Han utilizes for heists or cons. There was enough fan backlash to this idea that Kathleen Kennedy addressed this comment at the Star Wars Celebration in 2017, after being asked by a reporter to clarify what Iger’s comments meant:
“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 (laughs).”
As always, Kennedy is able to balance information with mystery. She makes it clear that fans don’t have to worry – Han Solo is Han Solo – but she also alludes to the fact that there is “more to” his name that the film may address. Still, fans who were concerned that Han Solo’s name might be changed can be assured that this rumor was simply a single comment blown out of proportion.
10. Kathleen Kennedy Says the Film Pulls from Westerns and Heists
Kathleen Kennedy, the President of Lucasfilm, told Variety that the Han Solo film would pull from a number of different genres to create a unique aesthetic. The movie would pull from both classic Westerns and heist films to create a new blend of inspirations. Some other non-cinematic inspirations are also being taken into consideration, including the paintings of Frederic Remington, which depict cowboys and the American landscape. The painting’s bold, primary colors are part of the inspiration that the art direction used when developing the unique visual “look” for the film.
The Han Solo movie is far from the first “pastiche” film in the Star Wars franchise. George Lucas drew inspiration from a wide variety of films, including samurai films, WWII pilot films, and old science fiction serials. By drawing from diverse material, the Han Solo film will stay true to the Star Wars spirit while offering a new twist.
9. Duo Chris Miller and Phil Lord Will Direct
The Hollywood Reporter announced in 2015 that Chris Miller and Phil Lord would collaborate as the directors of the young Han Solo film. Miller and Lord have previously worked as a team on diverse projects, including directing 21 Jump Street (2012), 22 Jump Street (2014), and The Lego Movie (2014). They also produced the television series Son of Zorn (2016) and are developing an animated Spider-Man movie. As screenwriters, they wrote the animated Cloudy with the Chance of Meatballs (2009) and DC’s upcoming The Flash.
Miller and Lord have been praised for their comedy background and high energy. By choosing a duo whose career has been focused on comedy, it seems likely that Lucasfilm wants bring the humor to the forefront in the upcoming Han Solo film. The directors have said that they want to offer something “fresh” to audiences while still honoring the original Star Wars characters like Han, Chewie, and Lando.
8. Cinematographer Bradford Young Teases that “Rules Will Be Broken”
In September 2016, Bradford Young was confirmed as the cinematographer for the Han Solo film. Young is an award-winning cinematographer who served as the director of photography for Arrival (2016), cinematographer for A Most Violent Year (2015), and cinematographer for Selma (2014). He has been awarded the Sundance Cinematography award twice, once for Pariah (2011) and once for Mother of George (2013) and Ain’t Them Bodies Saints (2013). He is also the first African-American cinematographer to be nominated for an Oscar (for Arrival).
Young has said that he plans to bring a strong vision and voice to the visuals in the Han Solo film. Young is known for his experimental and striking visuals; he has promised to continue this with Star Wars, saying that he plans to “break some rules” in the upcoming movie. Miller and Lord have given strong support to Young, giving him the green light to pursue strong choices.
7. This will be Lawrence Kasdan’s Last Star Wars Movie
The screenplay for the upcoming Han Solo film will be the final Star Wars film that legendary screenwriter Lawrence Kasdan will write. Kasdan, who co-wrote The Empire Strikes Back (1980), Return of the Jedi (1983), and The Force Awakens (2015), will retire from Star Wars script writing after the Han Solo film at the age of sixty-six. However, the Kasdan name may live on, because Lawrence Kasdan will co-write the Han Solo script with his son, Jon Kasdan, who could carry on his father’s mantle as a Star Wars screenwriter.
Lawrence Kasdan is a well-respected Star Wars veteran, and his contributions to the script will help to create a continuous voice for the character of Han Solo. Kasdan is fond of the character of Han, noting that Han provides a particular brand of humor in Star Wars, and has expressed interest in exploring what a younger, less cynical Han would sound like.
6. Praise for the Script
It’s possible that the Han Solo script may be Lawrence Kasdan’s best script yet – or, at least, that’s what Iain McCaig, a conceptual artist who worked on The Force Awakens, said after reading it. When speaking at the Art of Industry and Imagination conference, McCaig made comments about the script, which was paraphrased by one listener as follows:
“By far the best Star Wars script, and one of the best scripts period, that I have ever read. I laughed, I cried, I did all the things you should do when reading a good script. You’re in for a treat.”
Even for Kasdan, McCaig’s praise is impressive. McCaig had a rare opportunity to read the script, given how secretive the production is. For instance, Donald Glover, as of the end of January 2017 and the beginning of filming, had not seen a copy of the script yet, because of how confidential the project has been.
Additionally, The Force Awakens‘ director, J. J. Abrams, described the script as “amazing” and expressed his excitement for the project in February 2017.
5. Will Sana Starros be in the film?
There is very little canonical information about Han Solo’s life before the original trilogy. However, one character from Han Solo’s past has been introduced: Sana Starros is a former partner in crime and potential former romantic partner. In the Star Wars canon comic, Starros is introduced chasing after Han Solo during the time following the Battle of Yavin. Starros told Leia that she was married to Han, although Han countered that they were only “married” for a con.
In February 2017, there were additional rumors that Thandie Newton of Westworld fame was in talks to appear in the Han Solo film. Shortly afterwards, Lucasfilm confirmed that Thandie Newton would appear in the film, although she did not appear in the first cast photo. Perhaps Thandie Newton will play the role of Sana Starros.
There were early reports that the Han Solo looking to cast a woman of color movie was. Both Tessa Thompson and Zoe Kravitz were rumored to be considered for the role. However, after the casting of Emilia Clarke, there has been no further news about this other female character. It may be that Emilia Clarke will be playing that role or replacing that role – or that the character of Sana Starros was never meant to appear in the Han Solo film after all.
4. Could Be the Beginning of a Trilogy
There is a rumor that the Han Solo movie could be the beginning of a new trilogy. The New York Daily News reported that Alden Ehrenreich signed a multi-movie contract, and if the young Han Solo movie is successful, fans could look forward to sequels.
It’s not surprising that Lucasfilm would get a multi-picture deal with Alden Ehrenreich and reserve the right to create more Han Solo movies or have him appear in a supporting role in other Star Wars films. Given how receptive audiences are to Star Wars, if Han Solo replicates the success of Rogue One (which was modest only in comparison to the record-breaking Force Awakens), sequels would be a logical next step. That being said, the only other anthology film, Rogue One, is not slated to have any sequels, despite its success, so it is possible that Star Wars could opt to have a single Han Solo movie.
3. Potential (But Unlikely) Appearances for Characters from Animated Shows, Rogue One
Given the tie-ins that Rogue One (2015) had to the extended Star Wars universe, including Star Wars Rebels and the canonical novels, many fans have speculated that the anthology films offer the opportunity to reunite familiar faces. Some fans have wondered if Rogue One or Star Wars Rebels characters might appear in Han Solo, especially considering that the events of Han Solo will predate the original trilogy. When asked if Cassian Andor might return, actor Diego Luna’s coy response gave some fans hope. Alan Tudyk also expressed interest in having K2 make an appearance.
At this time, any cameos would be pure speculation. Kathleen Kennedy has said that fans should not expect to see Rogue One characters again, and Lucasfilm has said that Star Wars animated characters may not make the leap to the big screen either. Since there were rumors of a young Han Solo appearance in Rogue One that did not materialize, fans should not hold their breath to see Rogue One cameos in the Han Solo film.
2. Alden and Harrison & Billy and Donald have been spotted meeting
Fans have spotted meetings between the Han Solos and the Lando Calrissians. Alden Ehrenreich and Harrison Ford were spotted getting lunch together in early January 2017. While the picture is taken through a window and has a blurry effect, Ehrenreich’s face is clearly visible and the Harrison Ford blur seems at least believable. Some Star Wars fans believe that Harrison Ford is irreplaceable at Han Solo, making Alden Ehrenreich’s job incredibly difficult. Hopefully, Ford was able to provide some tips to the new Han Solo to help ease the transition.
Two Han Solos grabbing lunch. 🥂 pic.twitter.com/6utZicjcaZ
— Nico Sotomayor (@nicosotomayor00) January 4, 2017
Another fan caught Billy Dee Williams and Donald Glover meeting to discuss Han Solo in early February 2017. While this photo was taken discreetly, it is higher quality and a clear indication that Glover and Williams met. Billy Dee Williams has reprised his character in Star Wars Rebels, providing the voice for the younger Lando Calrissian. He has not, as of yet, been slated to return in any of the sequel trilogy films.
— Just Loren™ (@GODDOLLARS) January 23, 2017
1. Slated to Come to Theaters in 2018!
The Han Solo movie is slated to come to theaters on May 25, 2018. However, there is speculation that the Han Solo movie may switch to the typical Star Wars December slot, especially after the financial success of both The Force Awakens and the first Star Wars anthology film, Rogue One, in December. In that case, audience might have to wait until December 13, 2018 to see Alden Ehrenreich as the young Han Solo.
There could be financial advantages to pushing Han Solo back to December. By spacing out the Star Wars franchises to be a year apart, Disney could help to counteract fatigue from the fanbase and encourage more people to buy movie tickets. December could also mean that Han Solo faces less competition from other films, capitalizing on holiday audiences and monopolizing cinemas at the end of the year. Regardless of the month, audiences can look forward to seeing Han Solo return to theaters in 2018!
Episode VIII: The Last Jedi hits theaters on December 15, 2017; the Han Solo Star Wars Anthology film on May 25, 2018; Star Wars: Episode IX in 2019; and the third Star Wars Anthology film in 2020.
Be sure to check back for more information on the upcoming Han Solo film!