UPDATE: At last, it is so! On Wednesday, Jan. 11, directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller confirmed to StarWars.com that Woody Harrelson will indeed be taking on a major role in their developing Han Solo picture for the growing Star Wars Anthology series. ““We couldn’t be more excited to work with an artist with as much depth and range as Woody,” Lord and Miller told StarWars.com. “His ability to find both humor and pathos, often in the same role, is truly unique. He is also very good at ping pong.” Though we don’t know exactly what character Harrelson will play just yet, we do have our guesses and hopes.
Oh, that galaxy far, far away just keeps getting fuller and fuller these days. Thought it’s still a year and a half away, Lucasfilm’s Young Han Solo project already boasts a pretty impressive cast, including Alden Ehrenreich as Han, Donald Glover as Lando Calrissian, and Emilia Clarke in an unconfirmed role. Now it would appear another great actor with sci-fi franchise ties is being added to the roster, and playing a very pivotal character. Variety is reporting on Tuesday that The Hunger Games saga’s Woody Harrelson is being eyed to play Solo’s mentor.
Now, naturally, this is just a rumor, and Variety only says that Harrelson is being eyed for the roll and that he’s the “top choice” so we would not say anything more than “this might be a thing that could conceivably happen down the road.” BUT, the movie officially titled Untitled Han Solo Star Wars Anthology Film, is being produced by Kathleen Kennedy and Allison Shearmur, and the latter worked with Harrelson on those Hunger Games flicks, so at the very least it would make sense for her to want to work with an established character actor she knows will do a solid job.
A character named Alexandr Badure existed in the Expanded Universe/Legends of Star Wars in the book Han Solo and the Lost Legacy, which was the final entry in The Han Solo Adventures novel trilogy from 1979 and 1980. (Sidebar: the first entry, Han Solo at Stars End, was the very first Star Wars spinoff novel.) He was a retired stormtrooper turned ruffian who takes Solo under his wing. Whether Harrelson will be playing this character or if it’ll be a whole new character is anyone’s guess. So far, Legends character Grand Admiral Thrawn has been legitimized in the current canon through a major story arc on Rebels, so it’s not unheard of for Badure to be the mentor in the movie. Either way, Harrelson certainly has the chops to play mentor to a spacefaring scoundrel.
What do you think of Woody Harrelson joining the Star Wars universe? Will it be Alexandr Badure or someone else? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!
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Kyle Anderson is the Associate Editor for Nerdist. Follow him on Twitter!