Move over, Harrison Ford (OK, not really); there’s a new Han Solo in the galaxy. Alden Ehrenreich has landed the coveted lead role as the young space smuggler/Princess Leia’s future beau/Chewbacca’s bestie. He’ll appear in Lucasfilm’s yet-untitled Star Wars spinoff movie based on the character Ford made famous. The news was confirmed at the Star Wars Celebration Europe fan event in London, where the 26-year-old actor made a surprise appearance.
Ehrenreich, whom you may recognize from the Coen Brothers’ film Hail, Caesar! or Beautiful Creatures, told those in attendance how “very, very excited” he is about the role and how long the casting process was.
“I auditioned for about six months,” Ehrenreich revealed to the audience. “The coolest part of the audition process was I went on the [Millennium] Falcon.”
Speaking of cool, Carrie Fisher might be in some hot water after she revealed at the fan event that Episode VIII will feature Han Solo’s funeral. Like we really want to be reminded of his shocking death at the hands of his son, Kylo Ren. Excuse us for a moment while we weep…
But back to Ehrenreich. Alden’s casting has been rumoured for the last couple months, but he emerged as the front-runner in recent weeks, beating out the likes of Taron Egerton, Ansel Elgort, Miles Teller and Scott Eastwood.
The as-yet-untitled movie, which covers Han Solo’s life before we meet the half-witted, scruffy-looking nerf-herder in the original 1977 Star Wars, begins filming in the U.K. early next year. It’ll be directed by Phil Lord and Chris Miller, whose previous films include The Lego Movie and 21 Jump Street from a script by Lawrence Kasdan, who wrote The Empire Strikes Back, and his son Jon Kasdan. It’s scheduled to hit theatres May 25, 2018.
Enrenreich has a lot to live up to so here’s hoping he studies every little thing about the character, and masters all of Ford’s mannerisms and quirks. Han truly is one of the most iconic movie heroes of all time, so it would be a shame if he messed that up.
WATCH: Also at the Star Wars Celebration Europe: A preview of the action-packed Star Wars prequel, Rogue One.