Today at Star Wars Celebration Europe, Alden Ehrenreich was introduced to fans for the first time as Han Solo, the new star of the untitled Han Solo Star Wars Story at the Future Filmmaker Panel. The panel featured Lucasfilm's Kathleen Kennedy (Producer) and Kiri Hart (Senior Vice President of Development), who were joined by director Rian Johnson (Star Wars: Episode VIII) and directing duo Chris Miller and Phil Lord (the untitled Han Solo Star Wars story). Hosted by Lucasfilm Story Group's Pablo Hidalgo, the filmmakers were joined by surprise guests John Boyega (Finn), Mark Hamill (Luke Skywalker) and Carrie Fisher (General Leia Organa) from Star Wars: Episode VIII.
Before Alden Ehrenreich took the stage, directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller revealed that, during their arduous audition process, Alden Ehrenreich was literally the first person they met with. Phil Miller revealed they "turned over" every rock to find the actor with the "charisma and magic swagger" to play Han Solo, according to the live blog of the Future Filmmaker Panel at StarWars.com. Here's what Chris Miller had to say about the casting.
"But it was a waste of money because the person to get the part was literally the first person to walk through the door."
Alden Ehrenreich also revealed that his audition process lasted for a whopping six months, and he also got to go on the Millennium Falcon, which Chris Miller revealed only the finalists got to do. He also screen tested with Chewbacca throughout this process. Here's what the actor had to say about auditioning to become Han Solo.
"I auditioned for about 6 months. The coolest part of that audition process was, I went on the Falcon...It's pretty unbelievable. I'm just very, very excited. I've never screen tested with a Wookie. It was amazing. There's something about it that felt so exciting. It was more exciting than it was nerve-wracking."
The directors also confirmed a previous report that production will begin on the Han Solo spinoff in either January or February, with the production to feature lots of "droids and sets." LucasFilm has set a May 25, 2018 release date for this untitled spinoff, which is exactly 41 years to the date after Star Wars:A New Hope hits theaters. Stay tuned for more on this untitled Han Solo adventure as we get closer to production starting.