Woody Harrelson's busy schedule almost caused him to turn down a role in Solo: A Star Wars Story. As Star Wars The Last Jedi loom on the horizon, little buzz is circling next years second anthology film in the Star Wars franchise. That will change when a teaser finally arrives, but Lucasfilm will have a much smaller window than normal to promote its latest release set in a galaxy far, far away. As such, they've been relying on the film's big names to build excitement thus far.
Chief among those names is Ron Howard, the director who stepped in on Solo: A Star Wars Story after the previous duo of Phil Lord and Chris Miller were fired. At this point, Howard's regular teases from the set have been some of the only positive press following the troubling shake-up behind the scenes. With reports that Solo is way over-budget, a lot is riding on the film. In the end, it could just as easily be Lucasfilm's first bust as it could benefit from having the Star Wars name. As such, Harrelson will either be pleased or disappointed that he decided to take a role in the movie after passing.
Yahoo spoke with Harrelson about his mysterious role as Beckett in Solo: A Star Wars Story, and the actor revealed that he almost didn't take the part - something he's done before with a blockbuster:
“I actually turned it down at first. And then, I ended up doing it. I mean, I turned down Hunger Games twice, so this is no genius making these decisions.”
In the end, Harrelson took both of those roles and the Hunger Games decision was certainly beneficial. It greatly increased the actor's modern profile and the role was praised as a highlight of the series. With any luck, Beckett will similarly benefit Harrelson. Of course, he had a good reason for his initial reluctance:
“Honestly I’d been working, I’d done so many things back to back and I just wanted to go home. I was like, obviously this is something most actors would want to be a part of, but I just wanted to go home, so I decided not to do it.”
Signing on to any blockbuster is a guaranteed way to eat up an actor's free time, especially when it's one from Disney and Lucasfilm. As such, it's no surprise Harrelson was hesitant when he first got the offer. Producer Allison Shearmur eventually persuaded Harrelson to take the role and he's already glad she did, saying "Everybody who worked on that film was really cool…I get the feeling that it’s gonna be pretty great.”
It remains to be seen if Harrelson ultimately made a wise decision here, but the first trailer for Solo is cut and ready to debut in the near future. There's a good chance it will launch next month in theaters with Star Wars The Last Jedi, providing Solo: A Star Wars Story with a boost of positive buzz.
- 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
- Star Wars 9 / Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (2019) release date: Dec 20, 2019