One Direction singer Harry Styles was among the names being seriously considered to play the young Han Solo, at least according to a person in-the-know. Known for the time being as the Untitled Star Wars Han Solo Anthology Film, the coveted role in the second Star Wars spinoff ended up, of course, going to up-and-coming actor Alden Ehrenreich.
The Golden Ticket to play the young version of the iconic space scoundrel, didn’t come to Ehrenreich easy, though, as the shortlist of Han Solo contenders reportedly included Taron Edgerton (Kingsman: The Secret Service), Jack O’Connell (Unbroken) and Jack Reynor (Transformers: Age of Extinction) – who later admitted he was glad he didn’t get the part.
With the young Han Solo film in production, word has surfaced that Styles was “high up on film execs’ lists” to play the role. The information comes from an insider who tells Metro in the UK that “Harry was one of the early names in contention when the studio looked at Han Solo.” The source also says:
“Even though he had virtually no acting experience, they saw he had huge star potential and would give the solo project enormous publicity.”
The source also says the boy band singer had spoken with Disney about the role, but his singing career would have made it “almost impossible to lock him down for the job.” And while the young Han Solo movie didn’t work out for Styles, the source tells Metro, “There has been talk at Disney about having him come in again for other projects they are considering.”
The first big indicator that Styles may actually have the mettle to make it in Hollywood comes with esteemed director Christopher Nolan’s decision to cast him in his upcoming World War II drama, Dunkirk. Granted, with a cast that includes Tom Hardy, Kenneth Branagh and Mark Rylance, Styles is not carrying the weight of the film on his shoulders; but he’s still bound to be featured in Dunkirk enough for fans to see why Nolan cast him in the first place.
Styles, of course, is far from being the first actor to make the crossover from music to movies. No matter how judged they were on their acting ability, some singers like Elvis Presley and Frank Sinatra had huge careers in film, while others like Mick Jagger, not so much (Freejack, anyone?).
And while we’ll never know what Styles could have brought to the young Han Solo, at least we’ll get a glimpse of his potential in Dunkirk. After that, Star Wars fans may be lamenting over how Disney could have worked things out with the singer’s schedule; or sighing in relief realizing the studio dodged a laser blast.