In movie news, it is important to sort the wheat from the chaff – and in the modern age of viral internet stories, there is an awful of lot of chaff floating around. In most cases, that task is simple enough – but on occasion, a kernel of possibility can become encrusted in deep layers of speculation, as people try to second-guess giant production companies, and somehow predict the future. One such story has surfaced today, and refers to the upcoming Han Solo standalone movie.
The New York Daily News claims that an “insider” has confirmed that Disney expect the Han Solo movie to be the first instalment of a new trilogy – taking the opportunity provided by a character whose early years were unconnected to the main Star Wars story, to explore narrative options beyond the rebellion. Apparently, the evidence for this is a further claim that Alden Ehrenreich – the actor officially announced as cast in the Han Solo role – has been signed for three movies in total. So, if Han Solo has a three-picture deal, then it’s only logical that Disney would go for a Han Solo trilogy, isn’t it? Well, not necessarily.
With the current movie industry trending toward ‘universe building’ and franchise construction, it has become fairly standard for actors cast in high profile roles within those projects to sign up for multiple movies. This is for the benefit of the studio making the franchise – because it means options can be kept open for future stories. It does not necessarily confirm that each of those film appearances will be in the lead of a movie.
For example, when Paul Rudd was cast as Ant-Man, he signed on for “three-plus-plus” films – according to Kevin Feige. He was then the lead in Ant-Man, and will be the lead in its sequel (Ant-Man And The Wasp), but in-between, he appeared in a supporting role in Captain America: Civil War. This is becoming common practice, and Disney’s plans for the Star Wars franchise will be no exception.
In addition, /Film reminds us that the head of LucasFilm, Kathleen Kennedy, has previously explained that the difference between the main Star Wars franchise and the Anthology films is that the Anthology films will be standalone productions.
“Well the Saga films are primarily the soap opera centered around the Skywalker family. The standalone films can be a wide variety of genres inside the Star Wars universe, and they very definitely have a beginning, middle, and end. They are not being designed to necessarily build new franchises. They are really being designed as standalone movies which is fantastic for the filmmakers we bring in, and the actors we hire, because it’s a different sensibility. And the stories can fall pretty much anywhere on the timeline. There is no strict guidelines for what we’re doing.”
So, while it is highly likely that Alden Ehrenreich has signed up to the role of Han Solo for multiple films, this does not indicate a plan for a Han Solo trilogy. This reality check does not make the use of early Han Solo any less exciting, however – because it means he is likely to crop up in at least two other Anthology films. There is a case to be made that the actor being cast so far in advance of production on the Han Solo film means that he could debut in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. It also means that if a Boba Fett film ever makes it into production, he could feature there, too – and that would be awesome.
But, in the final analysis, wherever else Alden Ehrenreich’s Han Solo appears in the Star Wars universe, we know we can definitely look forward to his as-yet-untitled, standalone Han Solo film – directed by Phil Lord and Chris Miller, written by Lawrence and Jon Kasdan, and released on May 24th, 2018.