Who'll Play Young Han Solo in the 'Star Wars' Spinoff? The Shortlist Just Got Even Shorter
While Han Solo was tragically killed in the latest Star Wars film — The Force Awakens — it seems the galaxy far, far away isn't ready to depart with the snarky bounty hunter just yet. A Han Solo spinoff, part of the Star Wars anthology series, is in the works, which will trace the origins of Corellia's most famous smuggler.
Of course, a 73-year-old Harrison Ford cannot play the part, and thus, an extensive Hollywood search has been underway to cast the younger version of the character. Now, according to the Hollywood Reporter, it seems the once expansive list has been whittled down to four candidates — here's what they each bring to the table:
Taron Egerton: The actor is best known for his lead role in Kingsman: The Secret Service, where he demonstrated some cynical-yet-lovable quips that would translate well for the role of Solo. "Newbie Egerton holds his own with a cast of pros and I loved his twist on an 007 martini — 'gin poured while glancing at an unopened bottle of vermouth,'" Peter Travers wrote for Rolling Stone.
Certainly, "manners maketh the man" doesn't apply to the Star Wars universe, but regardless, Egerton seems to be a favorable fit, even for critics who don't want to see the Solo spinoff get made in the first place.
Emory Cohen: Cohen has charisma — as his charming performance in the Oscar-nominated Brooklyn indicated — but has less on-screen experience in what would be an action-centric role. However, anybody considered to be an up-and-coming star certainly has their risks — and merits.
"Saoirse Ronan shines, but relative newcomer Emory Cohen is the true breakout in this tale of a young woman torn between two men on opposite sides of the Atlantic," Peter Debruge wrote on Cohen's Brooklyn performance for Variety.
Jack Reynor: Reynor has the movie franchise experience, though it is for the critically panned Transformers: Age of Extinction. He was wasted in the film as the boyfriend of the lead's (Mark Walhberg) daughter — thus, it's hard to gauge what he would bring to the table production-wise based on his most standout performance.
"It's evil humans pitted against the trustworthy Autobots," Jocelyn Noveck wrote for the Associated Press. "So much for gratitude. There's also a subplot involving Tessa and her secret boyfriend, Shane (Jack Reynor, underused), whose Irish accent leads Cade to dismissively call him 'Lucky Charms' — at least until the two bond in battle."
Alden Ehrenreich: He's the only actor on the list not already featured in a franchise (Egerton is already onboard for a Kingsman sequel), which would appear to be a disadvantage. However, in a talented ensemble cast for the Coen brothers' Hail, Caesar!, Ehrenreich was still able to steal scenes from his veteran counterparts.
"The real star of the show is Ehrenreich, who can play an affable, empty-headed dope and still display the star power that Mannix and the rest of the studio obviously see in him," Will Leitch wrote for the New Republic. "(I could watch him lasso spaghetti for hours.)"
It's unclear if any of the four from this shortlist are frontrunners, but all of the options seem like a strong choice for the franchise — each with their own merits to play the smug smuggler Ford made into a cultural icon.