Many were hoping the end of Star Wars Celebration Europe this week would see the announcement of the title for Rian Johnson’s “Star Wars: Episode VIII”. With that film in its last days of production, a title announcement is likely quite soon as “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” was announced as that film’s title when it wrapped filming.
That didn’t happen, but the convention did drop a last minute surprise. Though already announced months ago, actor Alden Ehrenreich was finally introduced to fans for the first time as Han Solo.
Directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller were also on stage and revealed that, during their arduous audition process, Ehrenreich was literally the first person they met with. They searched far and wide for the “charisma and magic swagger” to play Han Solo, but according to Miller: “it was a waste of money because the person to get the part was literally the first person to walk through the door.”
They didn’t make it easy for him. Ehrenreich’s audition process lasted for six months, and he also got to go on the Millennium Falcon and screen tested with Chewbacca throughout the process.
Talking about the character himself, Lord describes what draws people to him: “He doesn’t want to do anything that he’s told. When told not to do something, it makes him want to do it more. [He’s] very sarcastic and at the end of the day he’s unreasonably optimistic. I think that’s why we fall for that guy and we got so excited about making this movie. This kind of dichotomy between this grouchy seemingly cynical guy with the biggest heart in the galaxy. And to me that’s a great thing to make a movie about.”
Miller adds: “He’s a maverick, he’s a scoundrel, he’s clever but he’s not smart and he wants to present himself as this cool, tough guy but in the end he always does the right thing and that’s why you love him so much and why he’s one of the most iconic characters of all time.”
Production will begin on the Han Solo spinoff in either January or February ahead of a May 2018 release.
— Sidney Smeets (@advocaatsmeets) July 17, 2016
— ErikDavis (@ErikDavis) July 17, 2016