What does it take for Han Solo to go, well, solo?
Disney and Lucasfilm aim to find out when a Han Solo anthology film from directors Phil Lord and Christopher Miller and screenwriter Lawrence Kasdan hits in 2018. In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Kasdan and Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy are dropping some hints about what to expect from the much loved character's standalone film.
“There’s got to be a reason for [the stand-alone film] to be,” said Kennedy. “And obviously the thing that Star Wars has always done so well is it doesn’t spend a lot of time [explaining] the stories that have come before. We don’t want to do that either. We don’t want to spend time going back and answering a lot of questions that, quite frankly, I don’t think people want answered.”
That could be good news for fans wary of delving too deeply into the backstories of popular characters, as the prequel trilogy infamously did. For those afraid that a young Han Solo film means we'll see the smuggler as a child, Kennedy says not to worry.
“He’ll definitely be probably in the high teens, low 20s,” Kennedy said. “We’re not introducing you to a 10-year-old Han Solo.”
“I think the key here is that we are identifying an event or events in Han Solo’s life that gives you some idea of who he is and why he is the character we have all known to love.”
As for Kasdan, he came to the Han Solo project by choice, having been offered his pick of which Star Wars character to work on.
“They said, ‘Here are the things that we’d like to make movies about,’ and I said, ‘Oh, well, Han Solo. I would write a movie about Han Solo. He’s always been my favorite.’ And that’s the job that I took,” said Kasdan.
Of course, it hasn't been entirely smooth sailing. Early in the process, Kasdan was brought into to work on Star Wars: The Force Awakens, leading him to enlist his son Jon Kasdan to help finish the Han Solo script.
“Since I did not expect to be sidetracked like this, when I came back to it I said to Kathy, you know, I would like Jon to write this with me,” Kasdan recalled. “I could use some inspiration and Jon is really good, and he’s full of energy for the project, and I said, I think Jon would be a good one to do this. And we went forward that way.”
As for the rest of the Star Wars anthology films, Rogue One, which tells the tale of the spies who stole the Death Star plans prior to A New Hope, is on track for a December 16, 2016 release. And there's one other anthology project on the docket - the mystery project that was exited by director Josh Trank amid reports of his poor behavior on the set of his Fantastic Four reboot. While Kennedy couldn't provide much in the way of details about that project, she did confirm that it would still happen, but later than expected.
“It’s still one of the stories that we absolutely want to tell,” she said. “There is a lot of innovative technology in and around what it is we’re doing with that story, so for a lot of reasons, we were comfortable postponing that. But we’re definitely still developing it.”
Kennedy said that fans can expect the as-yet unnamed film to be released some time around 2020, after the conclusion of the new Star Wars trilogy.