Han Solo movie: Lando Calrissian, the fight for the Falcon, and everything you need to know

Fast Facts:

  • Han Solo movie release date: May 25, 2018
  • Directors: Chris Miller, Phil Lord
  • Cast: Alden Ehrenreich
  • Writers: Lawrence Kasdan, Jon Kasdan

Update: November 21

Emilia Clarke, Daenerys Targaryen from Game of Thrones herself, will feature in the Han Solo movie. While Lucasfilm hasn't announced who she'll be playing and whether or not the character will hang out with totally sweet dragons, she will meet up with Han Solo and Chewbacca. Then again, it would be pretty strange if she didn't.

***The original article continues below***

Han Solo movie will bridge the Star Wars anthology and fill a famous gap in the smuggler's life story

The young Han Solo movie – exact name still TBC – is the middle of three upcoming Star Wars anthology films that kick off in December 2016 with Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (which, it’s worth noting, will not feature Han Solo). Lawrence Kasdan – co-writer of The Empire Strikes Back, Return Of The Jedi and The Force Awakens – is once again sharing screenplay duties, this time working in tandem with his son Jon Kasdan. The Han Solo movie has been planned since 2012, and will be co-directed by Chris Miller and Phil Lord, and feature Alden Ehrenreich in the lead role. 

Specifics about the Han Solo movie's plot have finally started to emerge and they're not terribly surprising. Word is that this will be the story of how Han Solo won his iconic ship the Millennium Falcon from gambler and general scoundrel (later a literal general) Lando Calrissian. He will also cross paths with fellow smuggler and would be wife Sana Starros, a recent creation of the Marvel Comics Star Wars series.

Han Solo movie release date is far away

The Han Solo movie will be released on May 25 2018 – 18 months following Rogue One, and six months after Star Wars 8. Yep, it’s bloomin’ ages away, but it does at least give you plenty of time to start saving for Young Chewbacca merch. Need to set your calendar for every upcoming Star Wars flick? Here’s the GR+ guide to the whole lot, from now until 2020.

Han Solo movie trailer should be coming in 2017

Heartbreaker: for now, there isn’t one. Bigger heartbreaker: we may yet be waiting a while. Rogue One’s first trailer was released in April 2016, eight months before the film’s upcoming release date. We got the first Force Awakens trailer in a slightly swifter fashion: in November 2014, 13 months before it hit cinemas. If those films are anything to go by, then, our first glimpse of young Solo strutting his stuff on celluloid will be between April and September 2017. Gah.

Han Solo movie cast bids farewell to classic actors, welcomes beloved new stars

Rogue One director Gareth Edwards has confirmed there’s no place here for Harrison Ford. The early-2016 shortlist for young Han Solo read like a who’s who of Hollywood’s hottest prospects, with Kingsman’s Taron Egerton, Macbeth’s Jack Reynor, and Ansel Elgort from The Fault In Our Stars all heavily linked.

In July 2016, it was announced that the part had gone to Alden Ehrenreich, who you might – nay, should – recognise from Hail, Ceasar!. Ehrenreich was the very first actor to audition, and beat out nearly 3,000 other potential Solos for the role. A young Chewbacca will also feature, though it’s worth remembering two actors shared the part in The Force Awakens: 71-year-old original Peter Mayhew, and former basketball star Joonas Suotamo – who stepped in for more physical scenes. Perhaps Suotamo, aged just 29, will get the solo gig this time out.

Ford and Mayhew aren't the only legacy actors replaced in the Han Solo movie. Lando Calrissian, played by Billy Dee Williams in the original trilogy and still today on the Star Wars Rebels cartoon, will instead be played by Donald Glover (Community, The Martian). Glover, long rumored to be taking on the role, has already been warned by his family not to mess up Star Wars. 

Sana Starros hasn't officially been cast yet, but three actresses are said to be in the running, including Tessa Thompson (Selma), Zoe Kravitz (Mad Max), and Naomi Scott (Terra Nova). One actress is definitively confirmed for the movie, though her role hasn't been announced yet: Emilia Clarke, Daenerys Targaryen from Game of Thrones herself, will feature in the Han Solo movie.

Han Solo movie director is actually two for the price of one

Phil Lord and Chris Miller, the partnership behind 21 Jump Street and Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs, will direct the young Han Solo movie together. While the pair have no long-term links to Star Wars, they did sneak a Millennium Falcon scene into The Lego Movie, and were set for cameo appearances in Rogue One – until Miller was waylaid by a more pressing real life commitment. (Specifically, finding a school for his son.)

Lord and Miller have proven themselves capable of delivering humour, heart and action in a single flick – all of which will be required if this is to live up to Star Wars lore, and Harrison Ford’s past interpretation of the Han Solo character.

Han Solo movie plot isn't beholden to old Star Wars rules

Aside from it being an origins story focused on both Han Solo and Chewbacca, there are no concrete details of what’ll unfold. Lawrence Kasdan has, however, promised that it won’t get bogged down in trivial details like where Solo was born and raised. And while he can’t share specifics, Star Wars concept artist Iain McCaig says he’s seen the script, and it’s outstanding: "By far the best Star Wars script, and one of the best scripts period, that I have ever read. I laughed, I cried, I did all the things you should do when reading a good script. You’re in for a treat."

Bradford Young, cinematographer on the movie, also assuaged any fears about a young Han Solo movie lacking the classic character's edge. Speaking with Collider, Young promised that this is definitively the Han Solo who shot first. 

"[N]obody at Lucasfilm is asking us to betray that, they’re saying ‘We’re in full support of what you do and we wanna make sure that we’re able to help you do it in the best way’. It’s gonna feel like a Star Wars film, but we’re definitely gonna break some rules, and we’re encouraged to do that. Visually, narratively that’s a good mandate".

Han Solo movie poster: don’t hold your breath…

Again, if you’re whamming F5 right now, you’re going to be reloading this page for some time yet. Expect the first Han Solo movie poster to emerge in the spring of 2018.

In the meantime, co-director Chris Miller has at least caused the world to salivate in unison over a single teaser image:

Han Solo movie trilogy may be a thing

A tantalising scrap of additional news emerged in July 2016, with the revelation that Alden Ehrenreich’s deal covers not just the 2018 Han Solo movie, but two further films. “Given that Han’s early adventures do not need to be tied to the Empire, it leaves story lines open with the opportunity to really give fans what they want,” an insider reportedly told The New York Daily News. Going by Episodes 7, 8, and 9 time frames, that would potentially give us Han Solo 2 with a release date of summer 2020, and Han Solo 3 in the summer of 2022.

Related Han Solo movie news

Game of Thrones' Emilia Clarke joins the Han Solo Star Wars movie. We have a good feeling about this...

Meet Han Solo's *other* wife - the female shortlist is here and they could be playing Sana Starros

The Star Wars Han Solo movie will reportedly show how Han got the Millennium Falcon

Star Wars' Donald Glover breaks his silence on playing Lando: "My mum was like, 'Don’t mess it up!'"

Star Wars Han Solo movie gets its first teaser image

Who’s playing young Han Solo? Meet the shortlist

Confirmed: Chewbacca will be a part of the Han Solo movie

New Han Solo movie has "by far the best Star Wars script"

Confirmed: Alden Ehrenreich will play Han Solo in standalone Star Wars movie

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

GamesRadar+'s lead sports writer. Obsessed with NFL, WWE, MLB, and very occasionally things that don't have a three-letter acronym. (Namely: soccerball, Bill Bryson, and anything Pitch Perfect.)

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

I've been playing games since I turned four in 1986, been writing about them since 1987, and writing about them professionally since 2008. My wife and I live in New York City. Chrono Trigger is my favorite game ever made, Hum's Downward is Heavenward is my favorite album, and I regularly find myself singing "You Won't See Me" by The Beatles in awkward situations.
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