Rian Johnson’s still-untitled Star Wars: Episode VIII was already meant to have begun principal photography but last-minute script rewrites and a release date delay to next December has pushed back production about a month. It’ll start in February and while we await more news The Force Awakens’ followup, the franchise’s first Anthology spinoff film, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, is nearing completion for its release in less than 11 months.

After that, it’s Anthology number two, the untitled Han Solo origins movie to be written by Jon Kasdan and Lawrence Kasdan with Christopher Miller and Phil Lord. This one has the supreme challenge of recasting one of the most iconic characters in film, a process which has reportedly seen 2500+ actors test for the part.

As Lucasfilm, Disney, and Han Solo’s creative team narrows down on their future young star, reports are already namedropping familiar talent as top contenders. Two of them, Jack Reynor and Logan Lerman, spoke with MTV while attending the Sundance Film Festival on Sunday. Reynor (Transformers: Age of Extinction, Macbeth), who says the role “would be kind of an incredible gig to get,” understands the importance of living up to Harrison Ford’s original A New Hope performance while still doing something different:

“We’re talking about Harrison Ford. He’s no chump. You can’t do an imitation. You can’t try and just emulate what that is. It’s got to be something new. It’s also got to be something that the audience is going to respond to.”

As for Lerman, whose been acting in high profile features since the age of 8 and whose name frequently topped lists for who should play the next Spider-Man (Tom Holland nabbed the role ultimately), he could only say that he can’t really say anything about the rumors.

“I don’t think I’d be intimidated. It would just be fun.”

Logan Lerman discusses rumors of him taking on the role of Hans Solo in the next Star Wars movie.

Posted by MTV on Sunday, January 24, 2016

Given the reactions of the pair, there’s no hiding that they both very much want the part (who wouldn’t?) and both are doing their best to keep their potential involvement or auditions on the download. Lerman and Reynor, both proven talents and already involved in blockbuster franchises, were born in 1992 and fit the age range Lord and Miller are looking for in casting young Han Solo. While the film, as it’s currently pitched, is a standalone feature, there’s no doubt whoever plays young Han Solo could be around for the long haul in other potential Anthology films.

“Watch Raiders of the Lost Ark. It’ll all be right there.”

J.J. Abrams’ advice for young Han Solo actor

Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens is now playing in theaters. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story will arrive in theaters on December 16, 2016, followed by Star Wars: Episode VIII on December 15, 2017, and the Han Solo Star Wars Anthology film on May 25, 2018. Star Wars: Episode IX is expected to reach theaters in 2019, followed by the third Star Wars Anthology film in 2020.

Source: MTV