A film about a young Han Solo is coming to the big screen. The film was announced some time ago, but news about the upcoming movie has been released very, very slowly. Harrison Ford left enormous shoes for a young actor to fill. The search was extensive, but finally Alden Ehrenreich nabbed the role. Now we just have to discover who he will be sharing scenes with.
With Ehrenreich in place as the lead, the rest of the cast now has to come together. We know a young Lando Calrissian will appear in the film. Additionally a yet to be disclosed female lead is reportedly being cast opposite Ehrenreich's Han Solo. A source said the young women up for the role are actresses of color. Regardless of that - the role will be a game-changer for whichever young actress lands it. The actresses of this list are supreme talents - some are already getting roles of this caliber while others are deserving of them. Maybe they had a great role and have gone back to smaller ones or they are killing it on television and have the talent to kill it on the big size. All these women have one thing in common - talent.
Here are 16 Actresses Who Could Play Han Solo's Female Lead:
16 Kimiko Glenn
After guest appearances on Law & Order: SVU and Submissions Only, Kimiko Glenn went to Litchfield Penitentiary as a new inmate on Orange is the New Black. Her character, Brook Soso, was arrested for her political activism and had a rough time adjusting to prison. After hitting rock bottom she found friends and love with Poussey, played by Samira Wiley, and adjusted to her new life. Poussey’s abrupt exit from the series will surely have a major impact on Glenn’s character. Since joining the cast in Season 2 Glenn has brought hilarious comedic moments and gut-wrenching drama. Glenn’s got range, which is very helpful in a lead. While appearing on the Netflix series Glenn has appeared on television programs Married, Broad City and BoJack Horseman.
Glenn is interested in making her way to the big screen as evidenced by her role in 2016 thriller Nerve. The film stars Emma Roberts and Dave Franco as two young strangers who get wrapped up in the game Nerve. Players are tasked with completing dares during the online video game. As the games goes on people become either “players” or “watchers.” Glenn plays Liv, a friend of Roberts’ character Vee. It also reunited her with OINTB co-star Wiley, who also appeared in Nerve.
15 Olivia Cooke
Playing Emma Decody on Bates Motel was just the start for Olivia Cooke, and now she has a pretty fantastic film career. A&E series Bates Motel stars Freddie Highmore as Norman Bates. Cooke’s Emma is a friend of Norman’s who suffers from cystic fibrosis. While on the series she has appeared in indie films The Signal and Ouija. Recently she appeared opposite Thomas Mann and RJ Cyler in Me and Earl and the Dying Girl. Her upcoming films Katie Says Goodbye, The Limehouse Golem and Thoroughbred are in various stages of post-production. Currently she is filming Ready Player One alongside Tye Sheridan. With Bates Motel ending the actress could have a lot more time on her hands. Enough time for the talented young film actress to join a film about a Young Han Solo perhaps?Cooke should join the talented group of young actors, like Daisy Ridley and John Boyega, in the Star Wars Universe.
Another talented young actress on the rise. Cooke seems to be on everyone’s list, including the Star Wars franchise. She was one of the actress up for a role in Star Wars Episode VII. A talented actress who makes an impression can always get cast in another role in the future. If she does not join Episode 8, then she could go on to star in the Young Han Solo film.
14 Antonia Thomas
People will remember Antonia Thomas best as Alisha Daniels on Misfits. The series featured a group of troubled teens who are forced to do community service and obtained powers after an electrical storm. Daniels played Alisha for 3 seasons on the British series. After getting in trouble for drink drinking, Alisha headed to the community service where she met her new friends. While she started out with the power to send people into a sexual frenzy just by touching them. In the third season the group’s powers switched and Alisha gained the ability of telepathic perspective. Since leaving the series Thomas has appeared in a handful of films and a few television shows. Recently she was a series regular on Lovesick, which is sitting right on Netflix waiting to be seen, the actress did make an attempt to get in front of American viewers. She was cast on ABC pilot Spark, which was passed on by the network.
Several of Thomas’ Misfits co-stars have gone to land major roles. Robert Sheenan went on to appear on Love/Hate and landed the role of Simon in Mortal Instruments: City of Bones, which may have been a misstep in hindsight. Iwan Rheon just ended a 3-year stint on Game of Thrones as Ramsey Bolton while Joseph Gilgun is enjoying playing drunk Irish vampire Cassidy on Preacher. Maybe this role will be Thomas’ major hit.
13 Claudia Kim
Claudia Kim has been acting in Asia for years, but she recently garnered the attention of the international audience. The South Korean actress played Dr. Helen Choi in Avengers: Age of Ultron. The minor role in the buzzy film could be enough to put her on the radars of film studios. When looking to see Kim's range, look no further than Netflix series Marco Polo. On the series, which stars Lorenzo Richelmy as the famed adventurer and explorer, Kim plays warrior Khutulun. She played the strong, tough and capable warrior - showing her ability to kick some serious as over the course of the season.
Up next for the actress is a role in The Dark Tower. The film centers on knight Roland Deschain who lives in the fallen land of Mid-World. Deschain is an unconventional knight - using revolvers instead of the sword people expect knights to wield. It follows him as he tries to save his world. Idris Elba will lead the cast, which currently includes Matthew McConaughey, Kathryn Winnick, Jackie Earle Haley and Franz Kranz, as Roland. Kim will play Arra Champignon. Her character, who does not appear in the source material, is described as a kind women from a different time and place who possesses psychic abilities.
Her Marvel Cinematic Universe role, ability to kick ass on screen and the upcoming The Dark Tower could be enough to have her join the Star Wars universe.
12 Melonie Diaz
Melonie Diaz impressed in Fruitvale Station opposite Michael B. Jordan in 2013. The film told the story of a young man named Oscar Grant III, who was shot by a police officer in San Francisco. Diaz played Oscar’s girlfriend Sophina. While the role garnered her a Independent Spirit Award, she has not yet had her next big film role. She has appeared in X/Y and The Cobbler, with her next film The Belko Experiment is headed to the Toronto International Film Festival. She has comedy-thriller Ghost Team on its way, but the time has come her next major role.
Even when an actor disappears from our screens, a performance stays with you. Fruitvale Station was an incredible film featuring two very talented young actors, Diaz and Jordan, which resulted in Diaz’s place on this list. Actors shine brightly, take breaks then return all the time. Sometimes an actor just needs to find the next great role at the right time. The most recent example if Stranger Things star Winona Ryder. While this is definitely not a comparison of Diaz and Ryder’s careers, it is evidence that the right role could bring an actor break to the forefront. Star Wars could be the start of Diaz’s return.
11 Ruth Negga
Ethiopian-Irish actress Ruth Negga is currently showing viewers how to kick ass on screen as Tulip O'Hare on Preacher. The series stars Dominic West as Jesse Custer, a small town preacher who obtains the power to control people. Negga’s Tulip is his gun-wielding ex-girlfriend who shows up in said small town trying to get Jesse to return to a life of crime and schemes. While she may bring some problems to town, Tulip can surely take care of herself - she’s quite the badass. This is far from the actress’ first role. Negga appeared on European series Love/Hate and Misfits before making her way to American television. Agents of SHIELD was the series where she had her first major American role. For two seasons she played villain Raina who had a very rough time on the series.
Negga is a talented actress who is prime and ready for the big screen. She’s played quiet and demure, she’s played manipulative and evil and now she is playing tough and badass. Whichever character ends up being the lead of the Young Han Solo film, Negga has the skill to fill the role. Her unique quality and ability to do pretty much anything it seems, so she may be the perfect choice for this particular role.
10 Karen Fukuhara
Karen Fukuhara made quite the film debut as Katana in Suicide Squad. Her first film role was a major one, which shows Fukuhara is not afraid of a challenge. Starting out that big is probably a stressful, exciting and equally terrifying situation, but Fukuhara took on the major role anyway. The actress was committed to the role, including a serious training regimen to learn how to wield a sword properly. Alongside a stellar cast, including Will Smith, Viola Davis and Jared Leto, the actress definitely could have learn a lot from her co-stars. Suicide Squad may not have been received great reviews from critics, but people are filling the seats in movie theaters. People are seeing Fukuhara’s debut.
One first huge movie is all an actor needs sometimes. Of course it does not always happen, but occasionally a new actor gets the right role at the right time and goes on to have a successful career. Look to Shailene Woodley! After appearing in The Descendants she went on to join the cast of several films in starring roles. After appearing in indies White Bird in a Blizzard and The Spectacular Now, she went on to star in the Divergent film series and The Fault in Our Stars. Next she’ll star opposite Joseph Gordon-Levitt in Snowden. Lupita Nyong’o after 12 Years a Slave and Gabourey Sidibe following her debut in Precious are other prime examples.
9 Genesis Rodriguez
Genesis Rodriguez made her film debut in 2012 in Man on the Ledge opposite Sam Worthington and Jamie Bell. The action film starred Worthington as Nick Cassidy, a man who climbs on the ledge of a tall building in a fake suicide attempt to buy time for her brother (Bell) and his girlfriend Angie, who was played by Rodriguez. Since playing a thief the actress has fairly consistently been appearing on the big screen. The Last Stand, Identity Theft, Big Hero 6 and Run All Night are a few of the films she’s appeared in.
Rodriguez will pop up next year on ABC as the female lead on Time After Time. The drama follows the adventures of a young H.G. Wells, played by Freddie Stroma, as he travels back in time to go after Jack The Ripper - who happens to be his old friend. Rodriguez has been cast as museum curator Jane Walker who catches the eye of Wells when he arrives in modern day New York City. This may start as a love connection, but surely Jane is in for quite the wild ride - taking into consideration her companion is H.G. Wells. The actress is currently on a television series, but has generally appeared in film over the course of her career. Returning to the big screen is certainly not a leap, especially for a role this big.
8 Nathalie Emmanuel
Nathalie Emmanuel spent four years on British soap opera Hollyoaks before making the jump over the pond. Quickly she was being seen by American audiences, both on television and in film. She’s already part of two major movie franchises in a supporting capacity, so a starring role in a third should be the actress' next step. She obviously does not pass up a challenge, proven after joining both Fast and Furious and The Maze Runner franchises - making the jump to the big screen and making a name for herself. Emmanuel will appear in sequels Fast8 and The Maze Runner: The Death Cure, which will premiere in 2017 and 2018 respectively. That does not take into account the fact she has been on HBO megahit series Games of Thrones since 2013. She plays Daenerys’ ally and friends Missandel. For a few years she has played the right hand of The Mother of Dragons, so surely she may have learned a thing or two about playing a badass. The major supporting role has an expiration date because the network has announced the series will end after its eighth season. Emmanuel may not have the most extensive resume, but she had some pretty major roles under her belt. Whether she joins the Star Wars film franchise, she one actress to keep an eye on.
7 Tatiana Maslany
Tatiana Maslany’s role on Orphan Black is another example of how one role could change everything in an actor’s career. The drama stars the Canadian native as several clones who are unaware they are part of an experiment. At the start of the series we meet grifter Sarah Manning who sees a woman, who looks just like her, jump to her death. Turns out the woman was one of her many clones and Sarah suddenly finds herself neck-deep in conspiracy, crazy scientists and life-threatening situations with her new family. For 4 seasons Maslany has played tough, weak, smart and evil characters on the BBC America series.
With the series entering its final season next year, the actress could be looking to make the jump to the big screen. At the end of the day Orphan Black makes for a fantastic resume entry. Maslany played a myriad of characters then added several instances where she played one clone pretending to be other. The sheer range from this one role alone should be enough to land the actress any role she wants in the future. Plus she’s already on the Star Wars radar. Along with Gina Rodriguez and Olivia Cooke, Maslany was on the shortlist for a role in the Star Wars Episode VIII.
6 Kiersey Clemons
In the last couple of years, Kiersey Clemons has been on fire. A recurring role on Transparent and a starring role on film Dope skyrocketed the actress and she shows no signs of slowing down. In Dope she starred opposite Shameik Moore and Tony Revolori as a group of “geeks” who get their chance to go to a cool party and end up with drugs and a gun in one of their backpacks. After its screening at the Sundance Film Festival it was quickly picked up for distribution and the rest was history. On the television side she has appeared on short-lived MTV series Eye Candy, New Girl and Extant. On the film side she joined Flatliners remake opposite several talented young actors including Nina Dobrev and James Norton.
Recently she landed the major role of Iris West in DC Cinematic Universe, as the female lead of The Flash opposite Ezra Miller. Clemons has proven herself to be an exceptionally talented actress. She has been on a roll and ranking up roles like this is impressive. Clemons has shown her comedic and dramatic ability, playing a myriad of characters. Landing Iris West is a major role and one that could take the actress to the next level. Taking it up a notch would of course be starring opposite Ehrenreich in the Young Han Solo film series. Depending on what those casting for the role are looking for.
5 Gina Rodriguez
Gina Rodriguez made a name for herself when she was cast as the lead of CW drama Jane The Virgin. The series stars Rodriguez as Jane Villanueva, a young woman who did everything right in life until she gets accidentally artificially inseminated. When it turns out the sperm used was provided by a man she was infatuated with in the past, Jane’s life is changed forever. Jane, of course, also is in a relationship with a young man planning to propose. The complications just keep on coming for Jane. One thing is clear to those watch the show - Rodriguez is a bonafide star. Since appearing on Jane The Virgin the actress has begun showing up in films. Deepwater Horizon will be released this fall and the actress filmed Annihilation over the summer. In fact, Rodriguez was up for a Star Wars role, so this role may be in her future.
Rodriguez is a force of nature, and that extends outside her acting ability. Watching the actress entertain and drop knowledge in interviews left and right, which has to be a bonus on a big budget film with massive press tours. Plus Rodriguez can box, so she should definitely be up for more roles involving action. Rodriguez can handle the action, know what it takes to lead a series and is dipping into the film waters. A winning combination!
4 Samira Wiley
Playing Poussey on Orange is the New Black is how people got to know Samira Wiley. For four seasons she entertained us by keeping it positive and making Litchfield’s famous prison hooch. Wiley was part the original cast and viewers were surely sad to see her go. While her exit was definitely a dramatic one that started serious conversation, the actress has not slowed down in her post-OITNB career. Wiley made a guest appearance on The Catch and will recur on the upcoming season of You’re The Worst, but now has landed her largest role to date: she was cast opposite Mad Men alum Elisabeth Moss on The Handmaid’s Tale. The drama is set in the totalitarian world of Gilead where the few fertile women are forced into sexual servitude to repopulate the world. Wiley will play Moira, the best friend of Moss' Offred.
She has been in a few films, including this year’s Nerve and the time may have come for Wiley to further explore film. The role of Poussey put Wiley on the map and since then each role, whether a guest spot or recurring, has shown a different skill - funny prisoner on OITNB, tough-as-nails solider on The Catch and a therapist on You’re The Worst. Her overall skill set is impressive and this actress deserves a major film role like the female lead to a young Han Solo. More importantly, she would do a fantastic job.
3 Kylie Bunbury
Fox ordered drama Pitch starring Kylie Bunbury for the upcoming season and everything could change for the young actress as a result. The series stars Bunbury as the first female pitcher in the MLB. Her character will face some serious obstacles while she forges forward to make history. Getting ahead of the actual MLB on a serious that features a young actress of color in a leading role could be the perfect combination, the series could be this fall’s biggest new series. Bunbury’s profile could skyrocket at the perfect time for her to land the role opposite Ehrenreich.
While Bunbury has only had supporting roles in film, she has had a main role on several television shows. She got her start as one of the leads of ABC Family’s Twisted, which starred Avan Jogia as Danny Desai. After being charged with killing his aunt at the age of eleven, Danny returns at sixteen to his hometown full of fraught relationships and accusations. Bunbury played Lacey, Danny’s first love and childhood friend. The actress went on to appear in the third season of Under The Dome before reuniting with Jogia in miniseries Tut.
Bunbury has had leading roles in the past, but Pitch could set her apart from other actresses. If everything goes right with the Fox drama then things could be changing in a big way for Bunbury.
2 Priyanka Chopra
Priyanka Chopra is a major Bollywood star who successfully made her way to America with a starring role on ABC drama Quantico. Chopra’s Alex Parrish is a FBI trainee who heads to Quantico to become an agent and finds herself framed for a major terrorist plot. The first season saw the actress punch, kick and scheme to ensure she was vindicated and, of course, in the end she was. The second season will see Alex headed to the CIA. A whole new world - probably full of trouble. The fruits of her labor are already showing. Chopra has also joined the cast of Baywatch. The film, which stars Dwayne Johnson, Zac Efron and Alexandria Daddario, centers on a group of lifeguards who must save their bay. Chopra will play the film’s villain, Victoria Leeds. In fact, the actress filmed the movie while Quantico was still in production, which is proof the actress has a serious work ethic.
Baywatch was by no means the actress' first film. After all the actress has been taking Bollywood by storm for years now. Chopra has been appearing in films consistently since 2003. The film veteran should definitely appear in more films moving forward. She is primed and ready to entertain American audiences. Particularly as the female lead of Young Han Solo.
1 Rosa Salazar
Although Rosa Salazar recurred on NBC series Parenthood, it was in 2015 that her profile skyrocketed after two major film roles. She appeared in The Divergent Series: Insurgent and The Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials, and fans can look forward to seeing her alongside Nathalie Emmanuel in the upcoming The Maze Runner: The Death Cure. While the same may not be true about The Divergent series, Salazar has lined up her next major gig. The actress landed the starring role in Robert Rodriguez’s Battle Angel Alita - beating out actress like Maika Monroe and Zendaya. The film centers on a female cyborg who is found by a scientist in a trash yard without her memory. The one thing she does remember is her expert martial arts skills, so she, natually, becomes a bounty hunter. At this point the question may be whether or not Salazar has time to join the cast of the Han Solo film.
The actress seems to be joining film franchises left and right, which is a testament to her talent. Salazar is definitely an actress on the rise and the Star Wars franchise should definitely add her to the talented group of actors in its films. With the Divergent series headed to television, the actress could have the time to join Ehrenreich.
The untitled Han Solo film is looking at a 2018 release.