A couple weeks back, directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller began principal photography on their young Han Solo movie, the second installment of Lucasfilm's Star Wars anthology series. At the time the cameras started rolling, a talented ensemble cast of Alden Ehrenreich, Donald Glover, Woody Harrelson, Emilia Clarke, Thandie Newton, and Phoebe Waller Bridge (with Joonas Suotamo as Chewbacca) was announced, leading some to believe that all the principal roles had been filled. However, as is wont to happen on occasion, there apparently was at least one key part up for grabs.
Recent rumors suggested The Wire star Michael K. Williams would be joining the project, quite possibly as the film's primary villain (which has not yet been revealed). Disney and Lucasfilm remained quiet on that front for a few days, but now they have officially confirmed the actor's involvement with Han Solo.
In a release on StarWars.com, the studio said Williams has signed on for the spinoff, which remains on target for a May 2018 premiere. Unsurprisingly, details about his character are firmly being kept under wraps, meaning fans will have to speculate amongst themselves for the time being.
While the announcement itself was quite brief, there is mention made of Williams' previous standout roles, and his ability to bring "charisma, humanity, and nobility" to his work. It's worth wondering if those traits were highlighted simply to compliment Williams' acting ability, or if they are clues about his character. Han and company are going to be a little band of rogues in this prequel adventure (Harrelson's mentor is a self-described criminal), so perhaps their mark is someone who is of higher standing in the galaxy. On the flip side, audiences are still going to be rooting for Han and Chewie, so it's also possible Williams plays someone on the sleazy side (think Terry Benedict in Ocean's Eleven). Either way, he certainly has enough talent to pull off both.
It may be a while before viewers learn official details about the mysterious Han Solo roster. This year's Celebration in April is going to heavily feature Star Wars: The Last Jedi, as Lucasfilm revs up marketing for the film there. However, there has been speculation D23 in July could be a hotbed for Han Solo information, including the reveal of the movie's official title. The last D23 convention, which was 2015, saw the first Rogue One cast photo, so that would be as good a time as any to start raising awareness for the next spinoff. Time will tell, but with Han Solo a mere 14 months away, it won't be too long of a wait.
- Star Wars 8/Star Wars: The Last Jedi (2017) release date: Dec 15, 2017
- Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018) release date: May 25, 2018