We are only a few weeks in, but it is very clear that Rogue One: A Star Wars Story has been a very big success for Disney and Lucasfilm. That being the case, they can look ahead to the next stand-alone adventure they have planned in the Star Wars universe, which happens to be the young Han Solo movie. We just learned that Woody Harrelson is in early talks for a role in the movie, but it turns out that Batman himself, Christian Bale, was also considered for the very same role.
The news comes courtesy of reporter Borys Kit, who took to his Twitter account to reveal that Christian Bale was the other big name in the mix before Lucasfilm narrowed their focus and set their sights on Woody harrelson. Given that Borys Kit works for The Hollywood Reporter, it would seem this news has some legitimacy to it. This isn't some no-name blogger we are talking about or some random Star Wars fan site with a "scoop" from a guy who might know a guy. That being the case, it seems like the top brass at Disney really wanted someone big for the role. Here is what Borys Kit had to say in his tweet.
"True that Disney & Lucasfilm wanted someone big for HAN SOLO...before Woody Harrelson, CHRISTIAN BALE was the other big name in the mix."
Variety was the first to break the news that Lucasfilm was in early talks with Woody Harrelson for the "mentor" role in Han Solo: A Star Wars Story. It is possible that talks could go south and that could lead to the studio circling back to Christian Bale. Anything is possible until the deal is done. It has been speculated that this role will be for the part of Garris Shrike, a character from the Star Wars Legends canon, which is everything that happened before Disney and Lucasfilm took over in 2012 and hit the reset button, so to speak. That has yet to be confirmed, though. Just for good measure, here is how Wookieepedia describes the character of Garris Shrike.
"Garris Shrike was the man who raised Han Solo. As a young man, he was a bounty hunter, but his quick temper kept him from collecting many live bounties. Instead, he turned to crime, collecting a group of orphans whom he used in confidence tricks and thefts, based aboard the decommissioned troopship Trader's Luck in orbit over Corellia. One of those orphans was Han Solo. Shrike rescued Solo from the streets, raised him, trained him, and beat him profusely when aggravated."
For the most part, the specifics of Han Solo: A Star Wars Story remain a mystery. The cast is starting to take shape, with Hail, Caesar! star Alden Ehrenreich playing the younger version of the famous smuggler and scruffy nerf herder, as originally made famous by Harrison Ford. Game of Thrones star Emilia Clarke has also been cast as the female lead in an as-of-yet unspecified role and Donald Glover will be playing a young version of Lando Calrissian. Add Woody Harrelson in there and things are nothing if not interesting so far. We also know that The LEGO Movie and 21 Jump Street directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller will be directing the movie, which is said to take place 10-years prior to the events in Star Wars: A New Hope. Last but not least, Chewbacca will also be in the movie, which only makes sense.
As of right now the Han Solo movie is slated for a May 25, 2018, release date, but recent reports have suggested that Disney is looking to move it to December 2018. That would make perfect sense, given the successes of both Star Wars: The Force Awakens and Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, which both had December release dates. We will be sure to keep you updated as more information on the young Han Solo movie becomes available.