Young Han Solo found with Alden Ehrenreich
Phil Lord and Chris Miller have found their Han Solo.
Alden Ehrenreich is in final negotiations to don the vest and pick up the blaster for the Star Wars standalone, according to sources, which centers on a younger version of the franchise favorite.
Following an exhaustive search, where 2,500 young men met for the project, a trio of Han hopefuls ended up on the finalist list, including Hail, Caesar!'s Ehrenreich, Kingsman actor Taron Egerton and Transformers: Age of Extinction's Jack Reynor. Miles Teller, Ansel Elgort and Brooklyn breakout Emory Cohen were among those on the shortlist in earlier rounds.
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Ehrenreich will be taking over the Han Solo mantle from Harrison Ford, who first appeared as the solar-system-hopping swashbuckling smuggler with swagger and captain of Millennium Falcon in 1977's Star Wars: A New Hope, as well as The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi. Ford and the character made a triumphant return in 2015's The Force Awakens, the movie that rebooted the George Lucas-created sci-fi franchise and set in motion standalone and spin-off movies.
For the Disney and Lucasfilm production, Lord and Miller, of 21 Jump Street and Lego Movie fame, will direct from a script from father-son writing duo, Lawrence and Jon Kasdan.
The Han Solo spin-off is scheduled for release in 2018.
Just as Ford has his own starting-out legend (he was cast as Solo after doing line readings with the actors who were actually auditioning for the movie and his sarcasm due to not being considered for the part seeped through, winning over Lucas), Ehrenreich too has a colorful discovery tale: Steven Spielberg saw the boy in a bar mitzvah video. His antics impressed the filmmaker, which led to open doors. After a couple of television appearances, he made his feature debut with Francis Ford Coppola's 2009 film, Tetro.
More recently, the actor wowed critics by stealing scenes away from A-listers such as George Clooney and Josh Brolin in the Coen Bros.'s Hail, Caesar! in which he played a warbling, lasso-ing cowboy-turned-silent actor.
He is repped by CAA. Disney and CAA declined to comment.