JJ Abrams' advice for young Han Solo: Watch Raiders of the Lost Ark

A month after the theatrical release of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, you'd be hard pushed to go a single day without hearing a nugget of news or a tidbit of rumor concerning the saga. Episode VIII is currently in production and we're also getting a bunch of spin-off flicks, previously dubbed "Anthology" movies, with Gareth Edwards' Rogue One the first out of the gate. And recently it got an added boost of cool: a young Han Solo may cameo in the movie before headlining his own standalone film.

Due for release in 2018, the Han Solo movie has 22 Jump Street's Phil Lord and Chris Miller at the helm working from a script by Lawrence and Jon Kasdan. If those Rogue One rumors are true then the hunt is definitely on for an actor to play a younger version of Harrison Ford. 2500 actors put themselves forward for the part last year, and this week that number was narrowed to a dozen names including Miles Teller, Logan Lerman, Dave Franco, and Ansel Elgort. When Variety bumped into The Force Awakens director JJ Abrams this week, he was asked if he had an opinion on that shortlist. “Nope. I wish I had something to say, but I don’t. I haven’t turned my attention to that.”

It's no surprise that Abrams remains tight-lipped - he's not actually involved with the Anthology movies, and will only serve as executive producer on the remaining two Episodes of the main series. He did however offer a few words of advice for the lucky actor who bags the role: “Watch Raiders of the Lost Ark. It’ll all be right there.”

Ford's performance as the archaeologist-adventurer Indiana Jones isn't a million miles away from his turn as Solo. It's one of his career highlights that largely defined him as a leading actor star with a penchant for quippy one-liners. Abrams' advice suggests that whoever lands the part of the young Solo will no doubt have some massive shoes to fill.

Directed by Phil Lord and Chris Miller, the Han Solo standalone movie is scheduled to open on May 25, 2018, with Gareth Edwards' Rogue One due to arrive in theaters on December 16 this year.

Images: Lucasfilm

Gem Seddon

Gem Seddon is GamesRadar+'s west coast Entertainment News Reporter, working to keep all of you updated on all of the latest and greatest movies and shows on streaming platforms like Netflix and Amazon Prime. Outside of entertainment journalism, Gem can frequently be found writing about the alternative health and wellness industry, and obsessing over all things Aliens and Terminator on Twitter.