Han Solo director Ron Howard confirms that Paul Bettany (Avengers: Infinity War) has joined the cast of the upcoming Star Wars spin-off. Reshoots are expected to wrap up in the next few weeks, and while the director didn't reveal who Paul Bettany is playing, another report confirms that he is stepping in for the departing Michael Kenneth Williams. The news comes after Donald Glover finished his work as Lando Calrissian last week with Howard praising the young actor's acting abilities while also mentioning that the rest of the cast and crew would miss him. Howard has been stepping up his social media game lately by showing some pictures from the set that offer some new information as opposed to him throwing away a sandwich.
The news of Bettany joining the cast of the Han Solo movie first came from Howard's Twitter account on Force Friday when he posted a picture of he and Bettany on the set with a caption that read: "The Outer Rim just got a bit wilder." The picture lead to wild speculation with people asking if he was just visiting or if he was in fact, in the movie. Seth Rogen tweeted, "If he's just visiting he dresses funny," which prompted Howard to offer an explanation. Howard explained.
"It's my third opportunity to work with Paul. He's a blast & so talented."
While the director wouldn't reveal who Paul Bettany is playing, sources confirmed to /Film that the actor is in fact taking over for Michael Kenneth Williams' character. Fans immediately started speculating that Bettany is playing the same character that Michael Kenneth Williams was expected to play, but instead of being a motion-capture alien, he'll be a real person. While the character will now be a real person, instead of a creature, the character's "names and motivations" will remain the same, according to /Film's sources. When Michael Kenneth Williams had the role, he was described as a half-animal creature that Michael Kenneth Williams described as "kick-ass," although that is all that has been revealed thus far. It was announced last week that Williams had to bow out of the Han Solo movie due to scheduling conflicts.
As Howard stated, he and Bettany had worked together twice before and the two obviously enjoy each other's company. Once Howard shared the news, Bettany also took to his Twitter to say this.
"Love coming to work everyday, and laughing with an old friend."
Bettany followed his tweet with a hashtag that read: ronisaprince. The duo had previously worked together on The Da Vinci Code and A Beautiful Mind, both movies that Ron Howard directed. Though it has yet to be officially confirmed by Lucasfilm and Disney, it certainly looks like Paul Bettany has joined the cast and what more confirmation do you need when you get it from Howard and Bettany?
It was nice of Ron Howard to share some Star Wars news on Force Friday, especially since the director could have easily taken a picture of a piece of Han Solo set gear. Paul Bettany is now on board the Han Solo movie, which is very exciting for fans of both Marvel and Lucasfilm, but who will he play? He might be some kind of space gangster from the Outer Rim who is up to no good, or he could have a more substantial role. More news is expected to drop soon, but in the meantime, check out Ron Howard and Paul Bettany's tweets from the set.