Who will play the next Han Solo?
Star Wars Anthology: Han Solo Spinoff
May 25th 2018 will mark the release of the Star Wars Anthology film series. Unlike the main series following the exploits of the Skywalker family and their legacy, each of the films in the Star Wars Anthology series will have its own distinct focus. The first in the series is Rogue One, released in December, later this year. Following Rogue One will be the as-yet untitled Han Solo spinoff. We don't know much about the Han Solo film so far, other than it will tell the story of a young Han and what trouble he got himself into before he ran in to Luke Skywalker and Ben Kenobi on Tatooine. Earlier today (11 Jan 2016) the actor shortlist for the role of Han Solo was revealed. Here's a rundown of who may take on the role that Harrison Ford has left behind. Whoever bags the role of Han, there sure are some big shoes to fill...
Eight possible Han Solo's
Of all the names of the shortlist, the media is reporting just 8. The films these actors have starred in range from the comical 22 Jump Street to the sci-fi epic, Transformers: Age of Extinction. In this hub each of the eight reported shortlisters will be reviewed in terms of their suitability for role.
So who are we looking at, then?
- Emory Cohen (Brooklyn)
- Scott Eastwood (The Longest Ride)
- Ansel Elgort (The Fault in Our Stars)
- Dave Franco (21 Jump Street)
- Blake Jenner (Everybody Wants Some)
- Logan Lerman (Fury)
- Jack Reynor (Transformers: Age of Extinction)
- Miles Teller (Whiplash)
From the above list, there are a few who stand out immediately. Dave Franco could provide a commercial value like no other mentioned above, and could be an easy choice if the production team, headed up by Kathleen Kennedy, are looking for a familiar face. Alternatively, Logan Lerman would be an interesting choice, having already experienced the pressures of a lead role in an action-adventure, playing the titular role of Percy Jackson.
But who, out of the above, could demonstrate the level of swagger, suave and sheer confidence required to take on the role of the legendary scoundrel? I feel that this film has a lot to live up to, and a lot to lose. If the film doesn't do Han Solo justice as a character, thousands of die-hard Star Wars fans will be left reeling in disappointment, with plenty of online forums to vent and make their feelings known. As with anything, there will be haters, but this film will be particularly difficult to pull off considering the fans' reaction to the death of Han Solo in Star Wars The Force Awakens, which screened in December 2015. If not already clear, Han was a fan favourite, and will remain so even in death.
Emory Cohen as Han Solo? I just can't picture it. The 25 year old actor's previous roles just don't seem to be large enough to equate to being deserving of the role of Han Solo. Similarly, he hasn't exhibited the characteristics that we would like, and actually need, anyone who plays a young Han Solo to exude.
I think there are a lot more fitting actors in the shortlist, and I don't think he has a real chance at bagging the role of the scoundrel. Emory Cohen is probably best known for his role in The Place Beyond the Pines.
Ansel Elgort is an interesting choice. Elgort was pretty under the radar until his performance as Augustus Waters in The Fault in our Stars. He also plays Caleb Prior in the Divergent series; his character tended to shy away from the action until the most recent film.
Although we should really only go by the shortlisted actors' acting skills and filmography, I feel it's only right to mention this little easter egg, about Elgort...
Ansel Elgort is clearly a big fan of the films, having released his own electronic dance music on SoundCloud under the name 'Ansolo' ...A sign of things to come?
Probably the most well known of all of the actors shortlisted for the Han Solo gig, Franco is well-received by most and would be a familiar face to the new, younger, teenage fans that Star Wars is now attracting. The 21 Jump Street, Now You See Me and Bad Neighbours actor has plenty of experience both in acting in mainstream, high-grossing films and in the media.
I also can't help but thinking that Franco's demeanour would fit the role of Han Solo perfectly. I feel that Franco may be the bookies favourite, as he is mine, not just for his acting ability and role suitability, but also for his commercial value.
You will likely know Eastwood from his roles in Fury and The Longest Ride. He's also set to appear in Suicide Squad, though his role is still unknown. Eastwood would, like Franco, fit the role of Han Solo very well indeed, and his looks only contribute to this.
Eastwood could quite easily pull off the role of a suave, smooth-talking space smuggler and would be a great addition to the Star Wars universe. For me, Eastwood is second-favourite, just behind Dave Franco. I would be surprised if he is announced as the young Han Solo.
Reynor played a large role in the most recent Transformers film and was also in Delivery Man, one that may leave you thinking he could be the right guy for the coveted young Han Solo role. Well, I would agree.
Reynor is no wimp when it comes to action sequences, and we can expect him to get fully involved in any gun-slinging-in-space scenes like the famous 'Who Shot First?' scene set in the Mos Eisley Cantina in A New Hope.
There's not much else to be said here, other than Reynor would be a good, solid choice.
Logan Lerman has had his fair-share of leading roles in Action Adventure movies, playing Percy Jackson. Like Franco, Lerman provides a certain level of familiarity for the teenage fans - that's if they've seen the Percy Jackson films.
However, I think Lerman can be ruled out as the next Han Solo. Although our new Han Solo will indeed be much younger looking than the smuggler we've previously seen on screen, Lerman is perhaps just a bit too young-looking. What do you think?
Like Lerman, Miles Teller can probably be ruled out, too. Teller, who played the lead role in Whiplash, just doesn't have the aura about him that I feel the next Han Solo needs. He just seems like a nice guy. But that's perhaps where the problem lies - Han Solo wasn't always the nice father figure he was in The Force Awakens. In his younger years we can probably expect some level or obnoxiousness and arrogance to Han, and I don't think Teller would be able to pull off the role as well as some of the other shortlisters.
Blake Jenner is a very interesting choice, and I still can't decide whether or not I'm surprised he made the shortlist. If you haven't heard of Jenner, this that's probably because you haven't watched Glee. Jenner is the lead vocalist in the 4th series of Glee, which means he has huge commercial value and would be a popular choice for the next Han Solo among the younger, newer Star Wars fans.
Thinking about it more deeply, I now think that Jenner would be a wise choice to play Han Solo in terms of what he would bring to the table as far as pleasing the younger fans are concerned. I just hope he doesn't break in to song part-way through the Han Solo film if he is cast as the lead...
The only thing holding Jenner back is a distinct lack of blockbuster films on his CV...
Star Wars Quiz: How much do you know?
- Star Wars Trivia: Hard Mode
It's time for our advanced edition of Star Wars quiz questions! How much do you know about the galaxy far, far away?