It's official! As previously rumored, it has now been confirmed that Alden Ehrenreich is the new pilot of the Millennium Falcon in 2018's Han Solo: A Star Wars Story. The actor was chosen out of literally thousands to take over the role of the iconic space pirate previously inhabited by Harrison Ford. This latest Star Wars spinoff arrives Christmas 2018. And it is directed by Phil Lord and Chris Miller.
Disney and LucasFilm have not yet sent out an official confirmation for this casting, as final negotiations are now in place for Alden Ehrenreich to don that legendary vest and grab Han Solo's blaster. This news comes after an exhausting casting search for Disney and LucasFilm, which had over 2,500 young actors auditioning of the role. Alden Ehrenreich is just one of three actors who made it into the semi-finals.
The other two actors who were close to landing the gig are Kingsman star Taron Egerton and Transformers: Age of Extinction star Jack Reynor. Fantastic Four's Miles Teller, Ansel Elgort and Brooklyn star Emory Cohen were also on a short list of possible candidates who simply did not bring the star power needed to take on such an important role in the continuing Star Wars universe set up at Disney.
The character was a hard one to recast, as Harrison Ford is Han Solo and nearly impossible to replace. The character was first introduced in 1977's Star Wars: A New Hope, with Ford reprising the character three more times on the big screen in 1980's The Empire Strikes Back, 1983's Return of the Jedi and 2015's The Force Awakens. The actor also played Han Solo in the infamous Star Wars Christmas Special from 1978, and he will reprise the character's voice in the new LEGO The Force Awakens video game that is releasing soon.
Han Solo: A Star Wars Story is being written by Lawrence Kasdan, who helped write the scripts for Empire, Jedi and The Force Awakens. He will be working alongside his son Jon Kasdan. Directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller are best known for The LEGO Movie and the first two 21 Jump Street movies. They are also responsible for Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs.
Alden Ehrenreich has an interesting backstory as an actor. You may know him best from his scene stealing role earlier this year in The Coen Brothers' Hail, Caesar! He was first discovered as a young boy in a bat mitzvah video by Steven Spielberg. The director was so impressed by some of the kid's antics, he opened the door for the young actor who quickly garnered a few TV appearances before making his feature film debut in Francis Ford Coppola's 2009 black and white drama Tetro starring opposite Vincent Gallo.
The actor most recently wrapped on the Iraq War drama The Yellow Birds starring opposite X-Men: Apocalypse star Tye Sheridan and Jennifer Aniston. He will next be seen in an untitled drama that is written and directed by Warren Beatty. There is no word on when we'll get to see the first official photo of Alden Ehrenreich as Han Solo. He will be accompanied in Han Solo: A Star Wars Story by Chewbacca, with Swedish actor Joonas Suotamo reportedly taking over for Peter Mayhew after serving as the original actor's stand-in and stunt double on The Force Awakens and Star Wars: Episode VIII. Two days ago in celebration of Star Wars Day, director Chris Miller tweeted out the first image from Han Solo: A Star Wars Story that featured Han's blaster. You can check it out here.