We nearly had Christian Bale in a Star Wars movie, folks. Indeed, as casting was heating up on the then-untitled Han Solo movie, which has now been officially named Solo: A Star Wars Story, the Dark Knight actor’s name started making the rounds. Lucasfilm was looking for a big name to fill the role of Han Solo’s sorta mentor in the pic, and while Woody Harrelson was ultimately cast in the part, THR’s Borys Kit revealed that before Harrelson was cast, Bale was the other big name in the mix.
So how close did this come to happening? Pretty darn close, it sounds like. Bale recently appeared on Josh Horowitz’s podcast Happy Sad Confused and confirmed that talks did take place for Solo:
“Yes, [it was] very tempting. I not only love the films going back to my childhood but also have a very long relationship with Kathleen Kennedy and Frank Marshall because they did Empire of the Sun many years back. There was discussion, [and] I hope there will be future discussions.”
Bale doesn’t elaborate on why that casting didn’t work out—he didn’t shoot anything this summer and didn’t start filming Adam McKay’s Dick Cheney movie until late September—but boy that would have been an interesting fit, especially given how things worked out. I would’ve been mighty curious to see how an actor like Bale meshed with directors like Phil Lord and Chris Miller, even if the duo ultimately left the film.
But it sounds like Bale is very much interested in doing something in the Star Wars universe at some point, as he confessed on the same podcast he’s a huge fan of the franchise and has something of a family connection:
“Star Wars I’m a huge fan. Yeah Star Wars really interests me. I’ve still got the Millennium Falcon, I’ve got the AT-AT. My daughter, her first love was Darth Vader. She absolutely adored Darth Maul. [She] stood near him at Disneyland and he growled and he’s got those teeth and he stayed in character, really wonderful performance, and she was teeny and I thought, ‘This is gonna scare the crap out of her, this is such a bad idea.’ And then she stopped and she said, ‘Daddy, I’m in love.’”
One thing we probably won’t see Bale in is another superhero movie. Elsewhere on the podcast, the actor confesses he doesn’t have much interest in the superhero genre, and he hasn’t seen Ben Affleck’s iteration of Batman just yet:
“I have not [seen Ben Affleck’s Batman]. Yes I’m interested [in seeing it], my son seemed like he was really interested, but then I realized he just wanted to see the trailer and that was it—I tend to go see films that [my kids] want to see. I have to confess I’m not a huge superhero film fan. People seem surprised at that, I don’t know why. I’ve not seen any of the Avengers films or any of those films at all. I hear they’re very good, but I’m quite happy just hearing they’re very good.”