In addition to a sequel trilogy that continues the main Skywalker family saga, Disney and Lucasfilm are looking to expand the Star Wars franchise even further by releasing standalone spinoff films in between the core episodes. The second of these projects (following this December's Rogue One: A Star Wars Story) is a young Han Solo movie to be directed by Phil Lord and Chris Miller. As is the case with just about everything that duo makes, there are many people wondering if their upcoming film is a good idea.
Han Solo is without question one of the most beloved characters in the franchise - in large part due to Harrison Ford's performances over the course of four movies. Given the spinoff's status as a prequel, a younger thespian had to be brought in to portray the charming scoundrel, an unenviable task that falls to Hail, Caesar! standout Alden Ehrenreich. Recasting such an iconic role is always a tricky proposition - especially when Ford has become synonymous with his famous character. Even the most die-hard Star Wars fans are skeptical, but it sounds like they could be in for quite a treat.
Iain McCaig, a conceptual artist who worked on The Force Awakens, recently attended the Art of Industry and Imagination conference, where of course he spoke about the galaxy far, far away. Star Wars News Net received an account of his panel from one of their readers. Among the many topics McCaig discussed was the screenplay for Han Solo, which comes from veteran writer Lawrence Kasdan and his son Jon. He had high praise for it. Check out a paraphrasing of his comments below:
"By far the best Star Wars script, and one of the best scripts period, that I have ever read. I laughed, I cried, I did all the things you should do when reading a good script. You’re in for a treat."
Obviously, nobody even remotely involved with Lucasfilm is going to publicly bash a film that's currently in development, but this is nevertheless promising to hear. That Kasdan is turning in quality work again shouldn't come as any surprise. He's had a hand in writing The Empire Strikes Back, Return of the Jedi, and The Force Awakens - all of which were well-received. In addition, he handpicked the young Han Solo movie as the script he wanted to tackle (before joining Episode VII), citing his love for the scruffy looking nerf herder. When one considers the fact that this is possibly the final Star Wars screenplay Kasdan will pen in his storied career, it became apparent he wasn't going to simply rest on his laurels.
By now, Lord and Miller have built a reputation on spinning questionable concepts into cinematic gold. Whether it's rebooting 21 Jump Street or making a feature film entirely around LEGOs, their track record speaks for itself at this point in time. Them joining forces with Kasdan is the closest thing to a dream team for this particular Star Wars movie. Arguably, Kasdan is the one screenwriter in the industry who best understands Han Solo, and Lord and Miller have consistently churned out entertaining, inventive flicks that defy expectations. Fans have every reason to believe this spinoff will be another winner on their résumés.
And it may not be much longer until viewers learn more about what they have in store. Lord and Miller will be part of the recently announced Future Filmmakers panel at this year's Star Wars Celebration in London. They're aiming to begin principal photography in January 2017, so chances are they'll reveal some sort of information that ideally will allow more people to buy into the notion of a young Han Solo flying across the galaxy with Chewbacca.
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story opens in U.S. theaters on December 16, 2016, followed by Star Wars: Episode VIII on December 15, 2017, the Han Solo Star Wars Anthology film on May 25, 2018, Star Wars: Episode IX in 2019, and the third Star Wars Anthology film in 2020.
Source: Star Wars News Net