The long wait for Rogue One: A Star Wars Story is finally over. As of last night, fans all over the world started packing into theaters to see the very first ever Star Wars standalone movie, which has been getting a ton of positive buzz so far and is on track for a massive weekend at the box office. The next of these Star Wars spinoff movies will be the upcoming Han Solo: A Star Wars Story, which is currently gathering cast members and gearing up for production. Thanks to Kathleen Kennedy, we now know that the movie will be shooting very soon.
Journalist Lizo Mzimba recently posted a brief interview to his Twitter with Kathleen Kennedy, who serves as the President of Lucasfilm. She was asked about the status of the Han Solo standalone movie and though she couldn't reveal much, she did confirm that the movie will be shooting early next year and that the movie is pretty far along. Here is what she had to say.
"We're actually very close. We're going to start shooting in February."
February doesn't seem all that surprising but it should make Star Wars fans very happy to hear that the movie will be shooting in just a few months, which means we will be learning more about Han Solo: A Star Wars Story sooner rather than later. As of right now, the movie is scheduled for a May 2018 release date and by shooting in February they should be able to hit that release date. However, there is a good chance that the movie will be bumped to a December release, which is what happened with Star Wars: Episode VIII after Star Wars: The Force Awakens managed to crush in December last year. In may, the movie would face a lot more competition in the surrounding weeks, since it is right in the heart of summer.
Additionally, it looks like Rogue One: A Star Wars Story is on track for a pretty huge weekend, so Disney may just want to stake their claim now and make December Star Wars month moving forward. Plus, the Young Han Solo movie would be coming out only five months after the release of Star Wars: Episode VIII, which would make it pretty difficult for Disney and Lucasfilm to as effectively market the movie, since people would probably still be talking about Episode VIII well into 2018. Speaking of Star Wars: Episode VIII, Kathleen Kennedy also offered a little update about when we can expect to see a title reveal and maybe a trailer.
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"Pretty Soon. We're giving this a bit of breathing room and then probably heading into spring you'll start to see things."
What she says there also lends some credibility to the idea that they will be bumping back Han Solo, since they want to allow for "a bit of breathing room" between movies. Right now, we know that The LEGO Movie and 21 Jump Street directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller are directing the Han Solo spinoff and Alden Ehrenreich is set to play the legendary smuggler. In addition, Game of Thrones star Emilia Clarke has been cast as the female lead, but her character hasn't been identified yet, and Donald Glover has been cast as a young Lando Calrissian. For the moment, Han Solo: A Star Wars Story is set for release on May 25, 2018. You can check out the interview clip with Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy for yourself below. To help ease into the transition from Harrison Ford to Alden Ehrenreich, we have this great piece of fan-art that depicts the later as the iconic space pirate.