‘Star Wars’: How Do You Cast a Young Han Solo? Lawrence Kasdan Responds

     December 15, 2015


Now that J.J. Abrams’ Star Wars: The Force Awakens has premiered – along with positive critical and celebrity reactions – Disney and Lucasfilm’s new age of Star Wars has officially begun. Part of that new expanded universe includes a movie that will trip back in time to a point when Han Solo was just a young buck cutting his teeth on smuggling runs across the galaxy. Clearly, Harrison Ford won’t be getting back behind the helm of the Millennium Falcon for this spinoff film – unless it’s as part of a framing device – so now the folks behind the camera are looking to cast a new Han Solo.

That’s no easy feat. They’ve already seen over 2,500 hopefuls audition for the role, but no official casting announcement has been made at this point. That’s no reason to panic since the Untitled Han Solo Star Wars Anthology Film doesn’t even have an official title yet, and directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller have until May 25, 2018 to get their film to the big screen. Oscar-nominated screenwriter Lawrence Kasdan doesn’t quite know what the Lord and Miller film will eventually look like (even though he’s writing it), but he does know what they’re looking for in a new Han Solo, as revealed in an interview with Vulture:


Image via Lucasfilm

“You want someone who isn’t going to be exactly like Harrison, you want someone who suggests him,” he said. “It’s like when you adapt a book, and I’ve adapted a couple: You don’t want to adapt it word for word, you want the essence to come through. With Harrison, though, it’s not easy to find someone with those kinds of qualities. He’s like Spencer Tracy, and what does a young Spencer Tracy look like?”

Kasdan didn’t go into any specifics on their reactions to certain auditions or offer up any hints as to who their potential frontrunner might be, but he did reaffirm that George Lucas originally had a Han Solo spinoff film in mind before handing franchise responsibilities over to Kathleen Kennedy. And while he wasn’t privy to Lucas’ original ideas for Episode VII, he did comment on just how hard it is to keep secrets in the Age of Social Media:


Image via Lucasfilm

“Everything is different, and I don’t even think of it so much as Twitter as it is the beast of the internet,” said Kasdan. “The big thing is that you used to put out a trailer, and people would only see it if they went to the right movie. Now, you put out a picture and the entire world has it in five minutes! You put out a trailer, and there are 80 million views! A rumor or a spoiler can have 200 million views. That didn’t exist in the past.


It’s incredibly painful in the world of keeping franchise secrets,” he said. “It’s not incredibly painful in the world.”

For more from Kasdan about the Han Solo anthology film and other works in the Star Wars universe, be sure to check out some of our recent coverage below:


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