Former Solo Directors On Why Alden Ehrenreich Was Selected To Play The Young Smuggler


Rick Deckard, Indiana Jones and Han Solo – three characters synonymous with the great Harrison Ford.

And while Blade Runner 2049 delivered what is perhaps the near-perfect continuation of Deckard’s story, and Steven Spielberg is quietly plotting a fifth Indiana Jones film for 2020, Ford is about to pass the baton (blaster?) to Alden Ehrenreich, the young up-and-comer who landed the starring role in Solo: A Star Wars Story back in 2016. Even if Harrison Ford “didn’t give a rat’s ass” about vacating his Star Wars role in order to make room for the next generation.

As for why Ehrenreich clinched the coveted gig, Esquire (h/t recently caught up with the film’s erstwhile directors, Phil Lord and Chris Miller, to discuss the ways in which Alden Ehrenreich came in and made this part his own.

An impression of Harrison Ford would have felt like an extended Saturday Night Live sketch. We wanted someone who could evoke the spirit of the iconic performance we all remember while bringing something new and fresh. We talked a little bit about how Chris Pine, playing Captain Kirk, didn’t do a Shatner voice, and brought his own spin to the character while still evoking the vibe of the character. We felt Alden did the same with Han Solo.

What’s particularly interesting is that Ehrenreich was the first candidate that Miller and Lord laid eyes on – talk about making a good first impression! – at which point they quickly informed Lucasfilm that a worthy successor to Harrison Ford’s beloved smuggler had been found.

Miller continued:

Alden, remarkably, remained the person to beat from day one. We brought him in many times, pushed him, tried to test his range, and he was always up for it and brought something new, with a great sense of humor.

So, there you have it; Ehrenreich’s audition was the benchmark for Phil Lord and Chris Miller, who would ultimately pass over control of Solo: A Star Wars Story to writer-director Ron Howard. And the rest, as they say, is history.

About the author