Solo: A Star Wars Story - aka. the young Han Solo movie - will be both a caper and a gangster film, according to costar Paul Bettany. While 2017 has been firmly focused on the release of Star Wars: The Last Jedi - and little else is likely to be discussed for the next few weeks - we're now a mere 5 months out from the release of yet another film set in the Star Wars universe. A firm date for the the first Solo trailer has yet to be set, but it shouldn't be long now. In the meantime, things have been unusually quiet on that front, even for a Lucasfilm production.
As it stands, most of the information surrounding Solo: A Star Wars Story has been in regards to the directorial shake-up that replaced Phil Lord and Chris Miller with Ron Howard. In terms of marketing, we've seen a teaser poster for Solo and an image of Alden Ehrenreich as Han, but even the latter was unofficial. There's also been considerable mystery surrounding Michael K. Williams leaving the film and Paul Bettany joining, with fans wondering if their roles were the same. While that's unclear at this point, Bettany's involvement has resulted in some of the only information we've had about the film outside of Howard's teases from the set.
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In the latest issue of Total Film (via GamesRadar), Paul Bettany speaks a bit about Solo: A Star Wars Story. While he couldn't discuss anything concrete, he was able to confirm the tone and genre of the spinoff film:
"It's Han Solo's story, and of course his story would be a caper. On one level it's a gangster movie. That's really interesting, because it's within the canon but really different. It's fucking Han Solo!"
Given the movie's reported focus on Han Solo's early years, it makes sense the young smuggler and his comrades would be caught up in the realm of space mobsters. The roguish flair of Solo also lends itself nicely to the caper and heist genres. As for Bettany's role in all this, he discussed a little of his part in the film and how it made him feel being in the Star Wars universe:
"Suddenly, I'm an intergalactic gangster and I'm walking down some stairs and an R2 unit goes by with some champagne, and I'm like... [drops jaw] I had that feeling that I hadn't had since I was first on a film set - I was a little boy doing the best job in the world."
This isn't the first time we've heard that Bettany will be an intergalactic gangster in Solo: A Star Wars Story, but it looks like at least one of his scenes will involve some fancy digs. Hopefully, the R2 unit delivering champagne won't mark a retread of the prequel vibe of Canto Bight from Star Wars: The Last Jedi.
Whereas Rogue One had the benefit of introducing mostly new characters, Solo: A Star Wars Story will have to sell audiences on iterations of characters not much younger than when we met them in the original trilogy. The track record of the new Star Wars films would seem to indicate the movie won't have a problem winning over audiences, but its summer release date and lack of marketing push so far could ultimately prove to be the spinoff's undoing. Hopefully, we'll learn more about Solo: A Star Wars Story very soon.
- Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018) release date: May 25, 2018
- Star Wars 9 / Star Wars: Episode IX (2019) release date: Dec 20, 2019