These three actors are in contention to play young Han Solo after massive search

Disney’s widespread hunt for the perfect actor to play a young Han Solo appears to be nearing its end. After thousands auditioned to play the iconic character‘s earlier self, the studio has reached a short list of possibly just three, reports THR.

The studio’s narrowed field reportedly includes the actors Alden Ehrenreich (Hail, Caesar!), Jack Reynor (Transformers: Age of Extinction), and Taron Egerton (Kingsman: The Secret Service, Eddie the Eagle). Sources tell THR that tests were conducted in London last weekend with each of the three, but that there were potentially a few other actors as well.

An earlier short list was said to include about 10 names of actors who met with directors, including Miles Teller (Whiplash) and Ansel Elgort (The Fault in Our Stars). THR sources say that Disney and Lucasfilm started with over 2,500 actors and pared down the pack through meetings and tapes. It has been a massive effort, but it’s understandable considering the role.

Harrison Ford has played Han Solo since the character was introduced in Star Wars: Episode IV — A New Hope. Beyond the original trilogy, he reprised the role in the franchise’s most recent installment, the runaway box office success, Star Wars: Episode VIII — The Force Awakens. Whoever takes on the new role will be tasked with capturing the essence of the beloved character — no easy feat.

The Han Solo spinoff comes in the wake of The Force Awakens‘ record-breaking performance box office performance and renewed faith in the franchise after the less-than-satisfying prequels. The upcoming film will center on everyone’s favorite swaggering smuggler prior to the events of A New Hope but after the prequel trilogy.

Filmmakers Phil Lord and Christopher Miller (The Lego Movie) are working with Disney and Lucas Film. The film is slated for release in 2018.