With filming already under way on Disney and LucasFilm's latest Star Wars spin-off, Han Solo: A Star Wars Story, the cast continues to be filled out. Today we have word that Westworld star Thandie Newton has entered negotiations to join the cast. As is the case with most of the recent casting additions, no details were given as to which character Thandie Newton may be playing, but her casting may hint at a recent character rumor.
Variety broke the news on today's casting, which comes just two days after the site broke the news that Fleabag star/creator Phoebe Waller-Bridge will join the cast as a CGI character that is said to be quite important to the film. Unfortunately, the site has no details about Thandie Newton's character, but back in October, a report claimed that three actresses of color, Tessa Thompson (Thor: Ragnarok), Zoe Kravitz (Mad Max: Fury Road) and Naomi Scott (Power Rangers), were testing for the female lead. It was never confirmed if any of the actresses landed that role, but Emilia Clarke joined the cast a month later, although it isn't clear if she landed the role those other actresses were testing for.
There have been plenty of rumors that the role those three actresses were testing for was none other that Sana Solo, who is believed to be Han Solo's first wife. Sana has never been seen in any of the movies, but she was created just a few years ago by writer Jason Aaron and artist John Cassaday for the Star Wars #4 comic book, which hit store shelves in 2015. Sana is a skilled pilot who may or may not be married to Han Solo. She had to get hitched to Solo in order to pull off a smuggling job, but one of the two took their nuptials a little more seriously than the other. In the more recent comics, this created a love triangle between Leia, Sana and and Han, as Sana made her return after the events of the original trilogy.
Given that the other actresses vying for the rumored Sana Solo role were in their mid-20s, it doesn't seem likely that the 44-year-old Thandie Newton has landed this role, although she could be playing a relative of Sana, perhaps her mother or aunt. That has not been confirmed by any means, nor has Sana's actual inclusion in the film, but it's believed that the story will take place around the same time that Sana would have been married to Han Solo. It's possible that her character has a connection to Donald Glover's Lando Calrissian, but we won't know for sure until the studio confirms her character. Regardless of who she's playing, Thandie Newton joins a cast that is lead by Alden Ehrenreich as Han Solo, with Woody Harrelson playing Han's mentor, Garris Shrike.
Phil Lord and Chris Miller are directing Han Solo: A Star Wars Story from a script by Lawrence Kasdan and Jon Kasdan, with Disney setting a May 25, 2018 release date. However, they have also been rumors that they may shift Han Solo: A Star Wars Story to Christmas 2018, but that has yet to be confirmed either. Thandie Newton is coming off her critically-acclaimed performance as Maeve Millay in HBO's Westworld, which earned her a Golden Globe nomination. She will next be seen in an untitled Nash Edgerton film, alongside Charlize Theron, Amanda Seyfried and Joel Edgerton and she is currently filming Xavier Dolan's The Death and Life of John F. Donovan with Natalie Portman, Jessica Chastain and Bella Thorne.