From Mister Miyagi to Master Splinter, a good mentor is a crucial component of any budding young hero’s origin tale. After all, whose death is going to inspire them to defeat their enemies if not that creepy old guy who took an unnatural interest in a young boy and let them train in their basement instead of going to school? Frankly, if you want to make the Kessel run in less than 12 parsecs, you’re going to need a good coach in your corner. Fortunately for a young Han Solo, Phil Lord and Chris Miller may have just found the perfect surrogate father for their upcoming Star Wars spinoff.
Should talks prove successful, academy award nominee Woody Harrelson will be joining the cast of the Han solo Spinquel. He’ll do so alongside Donald Glover as a young Lando Calrissian, Emilia Clarke as an as-yet unnamed female lead and Alden Ehrenreich as Han Solo, the man who shoots first, and if anyone asks questions later he tells them that he shot first and that’s simply all there is to it.
The talks are reportedly in a very early stage, so it’s far from certain that Harrelson’s craggy face will be the one looming large over the Han Solo project. That said, Harrelson is reputedly first choice on a list of actors that, interestingly, included Christian Bale. It seems that the studio are keeping a cast of young stars grounded with some more familiar and established hands. There’s certainly a comparison to be made with Alec Guinness’ Obi Wan Kenobi, an invaluable mentor who was able to offer Mark Hamill’s Luke the benefit of his long experience both in and out of character.
Harrelson’s last turn as hardened teacher to a younger protagonist ended in 2015 with the conclusion of the Hunger Games saga, and it seems certain that it was this performance that earned him his consideration for the role in this project. Although details of his potential character are shrouded in mystery, like so much else about the film’s plot, Harrelson has a proven track record of excelling in comedic, dramatic and action roles, so we’re sure he should be a very dependable choice for whatever Disney has in mind. So far, all that we really know about the spin-off is that it’ll be set before the events of Star Wars: A New Hope, and that shooting is scheduled to begin this month.
Most of the details of the film are firmly under lock and key, but with such a solid history of great performances under his belt it seems like Harrelson will have no difficulty taking a rogueish, reckless yet charming young smuggler under his wing on May 25th, 2018.