Throughout his decorated career, Woody Harrelson has developed a habit of declining major roles (see: The Hunger Games, Kong: Skull Island), and sure enough, while chatting to The Hollywood Reporter, the actor recalled the moment when he turned down Han Solo…twice.
Disney and Lucasfilm’s second Star Wars anthology pic has been in the headlines recently for all the wrong reasons, when Kathleen Kennedy announced the abrupt firing of Phil Lord and Chris Miller and subsequent appointment of Ron Howard, who has now been tasked with shepherding the origin story toward its May 2018 release date. Production is back underway on the film’s set, and since he climbed on board, a steady stream of photos have trickled out through Howard’s personal Twitter feed.
Woody Harrelson, meanwhile, has been cast as a mentor figure to the young Han Solo, and after online rumors suggested the War For the Planet of the Apes actor was playing Garris Shrike, Harrelson himself has gone on record to state that his character is actually called Beckett (a codename, perhaps?) and that the title ‘Solo’ is simply a placeholder for the real thing.
Per The Hollywood Reporter:
I turned [the Han Solo movie] down twice, and [producer Allison Shearmur], wouldn’t take no for an answer. I turned down Hunger Games twice. I didn’t have any idea it would be that big, but I didn’t think it was a good part. I was wrong. It was a terrific part, and it was a terrific thing, but thank God [director] Gary Ross called me. And Alli Shearmur, too.
Smuggler. Scoundrel. Hero? A new Star Wars story begins on May 25th, 2018, and it’ll chronicle the origins of the loveable rogue himself, Han Solo. Next up for Disney’s rebooted space opera though is the release of Star Wars: The Last Jedi on December 15th of this year.