Early next year, production starts on Disney and LucasFilm's long-awaited Star Wars: Han Solo spin-off, which has Alden Ehrenreich set to star as Han Solo, and Donald Glover recently signing on to play the iconic Lando Calrissian. While we wait for more cast members to come aboard, cinematographer Bradford Young recently teased that this spin-off will be quite different than any other Star Wars movie before it. Unfortunately, he wouldn't spill any actual plot details, but he said that, since this project will be directed by Phil Lord and Chris Miller, it will be unlike anything fans have seen before.
Collider caught up with Bradford Young, who has become one of the most celebrated and in-demand cinematographers in the past few years, following his work in Ain't Them Bodies' Saints, A Most Violent Year, Selma and the upcoming Arrival, which hits theaters November 11. When asked about the Han Solo spin-off, the cinematographer was clearly excited to work with directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller, without delving into specifics. Here's what he had to say, cautioning that fans shouldn't rush to judgment about these filmmakers based on their past work.
"It's funny, here's the thing about Phil Lord and Chris Miller: don't let their track record fool you. Don't put those guys in a box because they have a vision, they know exactly what they want. They have no hidden agenda, but they do have an agenda; they have a way of seeing that's very special, and their collaboration is genuinely unique. So I have to say I had to get converted into that. I respect their work, I respect them as filmmakers, but I wasn't quite sure if there would be a good marriage between what I'm trying to pursue and the work that I'm doing and what they're doing, but they helped make that real clear to me early on by expressing some real interesting story [and] photographic ideas that really resonated with me. So once they started really pulling me into that world, I realized how much these cats have come from the same pedagogy of filmmaking-in the visual sense for sure, and definitely from an approach in terms of how we want to make movies, they come from the same school."
All that we know about the story is that it focuses on how young Han Solo became the smuggler, thief, and scoundrel whom Luke Skywalker and Obi-Wan Kenobi first encountered in the cantina at Mos Eisley. The story will take place 10 years before the 1977 classic A New Hope, which started the Star Wars franchise. Here's what Bradford Young had to say about how Phil Lord and Chris Miller will subvert your expectations for this Han Solo spin-off.
"These cats are subversive, don't let it fool you (laughs). They are prepared to say exactly what they wanna say and it's complex, it's layered, it's smart, it's visual, it's dramatic, it's funny, it's uneasy, it's unexpected. These cats are-I'm honored to have them in the list of directors I've worked with, that's for sure. We're doing our own thing, that's why we're there. Phil and Chris are there to bring what they bring to their films, their very unique vision, their perspective on story and they asked me to come bring what I bring, and so just for that it won't feel like any of the other films. And nobody at Lucasfilm is asking us to betray that, they're saying 'We're in full support of what you do and we wanna make sure that we're able to help you do it in the best way.' It's gonna feel like a Star Wars film, but we're definitely gonna break some rules, and we're encouraged to do that. Visually, narratively that's a good mandate. They really are about, from what I've seen so far, supporting up and coming artists, artists who have a strong vision and voice and perspective, and they really wanna permeate the films with those kinds of voices. So it's interesting, very interesting. Not what I thought it would be, that's for sure. I'm pleasantly encouraged and pleasantly surprised."
We may also get some more casting news soon, since a recent report caims that LucasFilm is auditioning actresses for their female lead, with Tessa Thompson (Thor: Ragnarok), Zoe Kravitz (Mad Max: Fury Road) and Naomi Scott (Power Rangers) recently reading for the role in Han Solo: A Star Wars Story. While we don't know what character the actresses are reading for, there has been speculation that it could be Sana Solo, Han Solo's first wife. It was revealed in last year's Star Wars #4 comic book that Sana got married to Han to pull off a smuggling job.