The upcoming Han Solo movie is assembling an impressive cast to explore the early years of the Star Wars saga’s most famous smuggler, and now another prominent actor has joined the project.
Woody Harrelson (The Hunger Games series and True Detective) has officially been added to the cast of the still-untitled film, per a press release from Walt Disney Studios and Lucasfilm. His role in the film was not identified in the announcement.
Last week, Variety reported that Harrelson was in talks to play a mentor figure to Han Solo in the film, which casts Alden Ehrenreich (Beautiful Creatures, Hail Caesar) as the iconic scoundrel and pilot of the Millennium Falcon. The confirmation of his casting was posted today (January 11) on StarWars.com.
“We couldn’t be more excited to work with an artist with as much depth and range as Woody,” said the film’s directors, Phil Lord and Christopher Miller, in a statement accompanying the casting announcement. “His ability to find both humor and pathos, often in the same role, is truly unique. He is also very good at ping pong.”
Harrelson joins a cast that already includes the aforementioned Ehrenreich, as well as Community and Atlanta actor Donald Glover as Lando Calrissian, and Game of Thrones and Terminator Genisys actress Emilia Clarke in another unidentified role. While it hasn’t been confirmed yet, Star Wars: Episode VII — The Force Awakens actor Joonas Suotamo is also expected to reprise his role as Han Solo’s furry partner, Chewbacca.
Playing a mentor role (if that does prove to be the nature of his character) would be nothing new for Harrelson, who played a similar part in The Hunger Games franchise as the mentor of Jennifer Lawrence’s character, Katniss Everdeen. Harrelson will also appear in the upcoming sequel War for the Planet of the Apes.
The Han Solo movie still hasn’t been assigned an official title, but the film is expected to begin production later this month. The film will be directed by Lord and Miller (21 Jump Street, The LEGO Movie) from a script by Star Wars franchise veterans Jon Kasdan and Lawrence Kasdan.
The Han Solo movie is currently scheduled to hit theaters May 25, 2018.
Updated on 1-11-2017 by Rick Marshall: included information on the confirmation of Harrelson’s casting.