Even though the young Han Solo anthology film won't hit theaters until May 2018, Lucasfilm has been wasting no time in putting the team together. Phil Lord and Chris Miller signed on to direct last year, along with screenwriters Lawrence Kasdan and his son Jon. Since then, the hunt for Harrison Ford's replacement is ongoing, with recent reports suggesting that the studio is close to finding the movie's lead. They've apparently settled on a shortlist of Taron Egerton (Kingsman: The Secret Service), Alden Ehrenreich (Hail, Caesar!), and Jack Reynor (Transformers: Age of Extinction).
Of that trio, Egerton is perhaps the fan-favorite pick, since his turn as Eggsy in Kingsman illustrated that he has what it takes to play a charming rogue with a heart of gold - qualities that define the Han Solo character. He's been at the top of many fantasy casting lists since the project was announced (including ours), making his potential inclusion a dream come true for several moviegoers. However, there's one little catch: Egerton himself has stated he hasn't been contacted by Lucasfilm.
The actor was on the Jonathan Ross Show with his Eddie the Eagle co-star Hugh Jackman, and of course was asked about all the Han Solo speculation. Egerton said that he's very grateful his name keeps popping up, but indicated that it's nothing more than just hearsay at this point:
“I’ve heard this rumor, yes. I mean, I’ve seen the stuff on the Internet, and I think any lad of my age would kill to play a part like that. It’s very, very flattering. I have no idea if there’s any truth in it, but I mean, Lucasfilm, Disney, if there is, then you know where I am.”
When asked specifically if Lucasfilm has gotten in touch with him, Egerton simply replied with "No, they've not," before the interview shifted to comedy hijinks of Jackman encouraging Egerton to audition and the two performing Chewbacca impressions. One way to interpret this is that Egerton knows more than he's leading on and is being coy. That may very well be the case, but there's no harm in revealing that you've tested for a part in an upcoming tentpole film. For comparison's sake, Miles Teller has been open about trying out for Han Solo, so it's not as if the candidates had to sign non-disclosure agreements before meeting with the filmmakers. If Egerton is saying he hasn't been contacted, there could be truth to it, which contradicts the earlier rumors.
Egerton seemingly not in the running is unfortunate, but it doesn't completely kill the young Han Solo movie. The other names on the shortlist are talented in their own right. Reynor is best known for Transformers, but he's also received a handful of accolades for his smaller works - including a Special Jury Prize at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival. And Ehrenreich scored much praise for his performance as Hobie Doyle in Joel and Ethan Coen's Hail, Caesar!, showcasing that he's a star on the rise. Either one would be a great pick-up for Lucasfilm as they search for the right man for the job.
Of course, considering that apparently 2,500 actors were brought in, it's odd to think that Egerton didn't even receive a call from the studio. Those still holding out hope that he'll be the new captain of the Millennium Falcon will hang their hats on that, knowing that he's too talented an actor to go completely past Lucasfilm's radar. Until Disney comes out and confirms something, it's difficult to separate fact from fiction, so fans will just have to wait and see what happens.
Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens will be on Blu-ray April 5, 2016; Rogue One: A Star Wars Story hits theaters on December 16th, 2016, Star Wars: Episode VIII on December 15th, 2017, and the Han Solo Star Wars Anthology film on May 25th, 2018. Star Wars: Episode IX is expected to reach theaters in 2019, followed by the third Star Wars Anthology film in 2020.
Source: The Jonathan Ross Show