Solo: A Star Wars Story actor Paul Bettany says his character in the Ron Howard-directed spinoff film is an "intergalactic gangster." Bettany stepped in to the Solo role after original actor Michael K. Williams was dropped ahead of the film's extensive reshoots (reports say as much as 80% of the movie may have been reshot by Ron Howard after original directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller were canned).
Though Ron Howard was generous in floating teasers from the set of Solo, turning his social media accounts into must-follows for Star Wars fans everywhere, not very much is actually known about the movie's plot or characters. Only recently did fans get their first glimpse of star Alden Ehrenreich as Han Solo, and that was via an image printed on the side of a collector's cup (just to give an idea of the level of secrecy surrounding the movie).
Paul Bettany was predictably grilled about his role in Solo during his appearance at Rhode Island Comic Con this weekend (where he also teased a forthcoming "badass" Avengers: Infinity War trailer), but naturally the actor was less-than-forthcoming when it came to offering details. Bettany has plenty of practice at evading questions after being in a few MCU movies as The Vision, so it's no surprise he skillfully side-stepped queries about his Solo role. Though Bettany wouldn't cough up his character's name when asked, saying he doesn't want to be sued, he did drop what qualifies as a minor tidbit by hinting at his character's profession (via AIPT!):
“Ya know, obviously, I’m a very cool intergalactic gangster.”
Back when Michael K. Williams was still playing the role Bettany now has, rumors circulated that his character was the main villain of the story. Bettany's characterization of the role as a "gangster" could be seen as confirmation that the character is in fact villainous, and might even be the main villain. It's also possible Bettany was playing with the audience a bit and his character isn't anything at all like an "intergalactic gangster."
Thanks to Ron Howard's teases and the few hints dropped by Bettany and other actors, we are able to form something like a picture of what Solo is going to be: It will involve Solo's homeworld of Corellia. Han's smuggling skills will come into play. The story takes place in "desperate and dangerous times." The Spice Mines of Kessel will somehow be involved. There's a fight scene in a cantina. The Empire will get in on the action. We also know Han Solo will have a mentor in the person of Woody Harrelson's Beckett. Nothing is known about Emilia Clarke's character, except that she's "awesome" according to Clarke.
Five or six more vague hints and perhaps some obsessive fan will be able to piece together what the entirety of Solo: A Star Wars Story is about.
- Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018) release date: May 25, 2018
- Star Wars 9 / Star Wars: Episode IX (2019) release date: Dec 20, 2019
- Star Wars 8/Star Wars: The Last Jedi (2017) release date: Dec 15, 2017