10 Casting Candidates for the Young HAN SOLO

<i>by <a href=http://www.twitter.com/graemem>Graeme McMillan, Newsarama Contributor</a></i> <p>It's a <em>Star Wars</em> fan's dream come true: One of the non-new-trilogy movies confirmed by Disney CEO Bob Iger on Tuesday is <a href=http://www.newsarama.com/film/young-han-solo-boba-fett-films-coming.html>rumored to center around the early days of Han Solo</a>. <p>But with Harrison Ford now 70 years old yes, it surprised us, too he's clearly too old for the role. So who could play science fiction's favorite charming scoundrel? Here are 10 suggestions. <p><i>Got a comment? There's lots of conversation on Newsarama's <a href=http://www.facebook.com/Newsarama><b>FACEBOOK</b></a> and <a href=http://twitter.com/newsarama><b>TWITTER</b></a>!</i> <p>


Yes, yes, I know: Josh Holloway known to millions as Sawyer from <em>Lost</em> is, at 43, far too old for the role of the <em>young</em> Han Solo, but <em>come on</em>. Is there really anyone out there who <em>wouldn't</em> be willing to bend things just a little if it meant that we got a Sawyer/Solo hybrid character out of it? <p>If nothing else, someone should work hard to ensure that we get Holloway in there as a rogue mentor to the young Solo or something.


We know that Pine can handle bad guys in space thanks to his role as Captain Kirk in J.J. Abrams' <em>Star Trek</em> reboot, and he has that same louche charm as a young Harrison Ford, but even if he could follow Abrams from one sci-fi franchise to another, is he too old to take on the role? <p>At 32, he's younger than Ford was when he shot <em>Star Wars</em>, but could he convincingly take on the part of a mid-20s smuggler?


Staying with the familiar Chrises, Evans has the right stuff to add a character like Solo to his growing resume of nerd-friendly roles he's played Johnny Storm, Lucas Lee and Steve Rogers in the past few years but again may be too old to take on the role... <p>And far too busy, considering he has both <em>Captain America: The Winter Soldier</em> and <em>The Avengers 2</em> in his future, as well as the inevitable following installments in each series.


Soon to be seen as John Reid, the titular <em>Lone Ranger</em> himself, in theaters this summer, Hammer has the square-jawed good looks and, as we know from <em>The Social Network</em>, the acting chops to pull off a leading man role. <p>But doesn't he seem a little too... clean-cut to take on the role of the morally-grey, sometimes-shoots-first Solo? Perhaps we should wait until someone is looking for a more muscular Luke Skywalker type before giving him a call.


Oh, <em>Gossip Girl</em>. You offered up so many potential leading men, all of whom are roughly in the right age range for the role and have an inbuilt fanbase to exploit er, add to the <em>Star Wars</em> audience. <p>But Ed Westwick is too arch for the rough-and-tumble Han, and Chace Crawford too wooden. So let's go for Badgley, whose Dan Humphrey had a way with the one-liners, numerous (some would say too many) chances to demonstrate his sensitive side and apparently sounds like Veronica Mars when he does voice overs. Hey, that kind of skill with disguise could come in handy when on the run from the Hutts.


This out-of-left-field suggestion comes courtesy of my wife, who is convinced that Salling Puck on <em>Glee</em> has the bad boy charm and the good looks to pull off a younger version of George Lucas' troublemaker. <p>Admittedly, the role doesn't involve a lot of singing, nor a mohawk (unless there's something we don't know about Han's past), but it could be fun to see Salling stretch himself. If we were lucky, we could get Cory Monteith to play Chewbacca, as well. He's certainly tall enough...


If you're thinking "Who...?" then clearly you're not a <em>Bones</em> fan. One of the many "squinterns" on the Fox series, Terry's "Wendell Bray" shows off the mix of charm, uncertainty and arrogance that made Ford's Solo so appealing in the original <em>Star Wars</em> even in a thankless supporting role. <p>Given the chance to show off as a lead and a dye job to ensure he looked the part Terry might be just the smuggler we're looking for.


On the one hand, yes; Garrett Hedlund was hardly the best thing about <em>Tron: Legacy</em>, with his central character seeming more than a little flat against the neon background of the virtual world and surrounded by Jeff Bridges and Olivia Wilde. <P>On the other, anyone that saw the recent <em>On The Road</em> can attest to the fact that maybe it was the movie, and not the actor, at fault. Hedlund's Dean Moriarty was loose, dangerous and a magnetic presence on the screen. If he could bring that to <em>Star Wars</em>' Solo, the results could be amazing.


Let's be clear about this: Yes, <em>John Carter</em> and <em>Battleship</em> demonstrated Kitsch's apparent ability to sink any big budget movie he's in last summer. <p>But as anyone who's seen <em>Friday Night Lights</em> already knows, he's better than that, and if it's revealed that Solo had a troubled past that saw him as a self-destructive young man filled with self-loathing that smothered his inner nobility... Hell, there are few actors who could do the role as much justice, right...? <p>Additional casting suggestion: Kyle Chandler, a.k.a. <em>FNL</em>'s Coach Taylor, as a wise Jedi trainer. You know it makes sense.


Ultimately, choosing an actor who's right for the part but isn't known to the world already might be the best direction to go with this problem. After all, the world wasn't familiar with Harrison Ford, Mark Hamill or Carrie Fisher before the first <em>Star Wars</em>, which made it easier for them to seem believable in their roles when they appeared on screen. <p>There will be more than enough expectations on any new <em>Star Wars</em> movie, especially another prequel, so why not make things a little more interesting by throwing in an unknown quantity to keep all the naysayers (and yaysayers) on their toes a little longer?

10 Casting Candidates for the Young HAN SOLO

Date: 06 February 2013 Time: 09:16 PM ET