This week Variety reported that Disney have spent several parsecs (yes, I know, distance) auditioning thousands for the role of at least two lifetimes: Young Han Solo. With Rogue One thought to be positioned, timewise, somewhere between Episodes III and IV, there’s a chance that Han could pop up for a quick hey ho, à la Tom Holland’s Spider-Man in Captain America: Civil War, before getting started on his own spinoff.
Obviously, time is of the essence. We know Disney is going young, white, male and devilishly handsome so this time there’s no “humorous” suggestions like Idris Elba or the ghost of River Phoenix – just pure slices of fried gold, mostly taken from the leaked shortlist. However, we have included a couple of incredibly astute predictions, just to stay ahead of the curve.
Here we go:
Who? Lerman seems like a shortlist regular at this point; in that he was in the running for Spider-Man but was beaten to the role by Tom Holland. Here’s a lightly edited version of what our Tom (Bond) wrote last year: He’s young enough to get away with playing a teenager, at least by Hollywood’s skewed standards, and he has a solid body of work behind him, with films such as Percy Jackson & The Lightning Thief, The Perks of Being a Wallflower and Fury covering the key Spider-Man HAN SOLO ingredients of awkward, angsty ADVENTUROUS, ASSURED and action-packed.
Pros: Fits the criteria we’ve planned, allows us to include him without writing a new profile from scratch.
Cons: Too innocent. Logan Lerman looks more likely to say “never tell me the odds!” or “never tell me the odds because gambling is something I find abhorrent.”
Odds: 5/1 – How you like them odds, Lerman?
Who? Is Dave Franco the best Franco? The jury’s out, but winning turns in Neighbors and 21 Jump Street ensure that his comic timing’s in the right place. As to whether the rest is, wait for the aforementioned jury to return. At 5’7”, he’s the most diminutive option on the list, but when you’re next to a Wookiee, anyone this side of Peter Mayhew looks a little on the short side.
Pros: Would have something interesting to bring to the annual Francsgiving get together, has worked with Young Han-helmers Phil Lord and Christopher Miller on 21 Jump Street.
Cons: Wouldn’t be the first Franco to inhabit a long-running franchise character and leave us feeling underwhelmed.
Odds: 12/1 – there’s just something that doesn’t quite fit, but personal connections could swing it.
Who? Really? Miles Teller? Whiplash? Fantastic Four? Two Night Stand? Divergent? Probably the “hottest” of Disney’s frontrunners, Teller’s a proven quantity and quality. Plus, considering Fantastic Four’s aborted return, it’d make sense for Disney to hitch him to their premier franchise before another studio snaps him up.
Pros: Has competently stared down humanoid creatures barking in a strange dialect (see above image), convincingly cocksure.
Cons: Existing facial scarring not possible on most action figures and plushy toys.
Odds: 8/1 – We definitely can’t see any evidence suggesting Miles Teller’s franchise involvement might not herald a complete success.
Who? Clint Eastwood’s youngest son. You probably saw, but didn’t register, him in Fury (like Logan Lerman!), Invictus and Gran Torino. You may have done both in The Longest Ride. Eastwood’s got a few big projects on the horizon – Snowden and Suicide Squad in particular – so is obviously a pretty popular option in studios across Tinselwood.
Pros: Has the right genetics to convincingly pull off grizzled.
Cons: Twitter bio reads “Get busy livin’ or get busy dyin’” – next!
Odds: 6/1 – Though it’s not as if films are cast on good looks and famous surnames, he’s probably got a good chance.
Who? Did I stutter? Oh yes, sorry: Harrison Ford.
Pros: Can draw on a wealth of experience playing the character and has proven action chops even at his advanced age.
Cons: That advanced age is 73.
Odds: 50/1 – Mr Ford has made it perfectly clear he loathes Star Wars, and acting, and you.
Who? Yeah, who? Oh, he’s Bradley Cooper’s son in The Place Beyond The Pines and pretty important in Brooklyn. He’s also in The Gambler. Do not see The Gambler. Perhaps more importantly, he’s got a large number of projects in the can including War Machine, Shot Caller and By Way of Helena. Plus he’s got that untapped-potential vibe.
Pros: Is just the kind of recognisable but not too recognisable face that makes a certain kind of sense (think Chris Hemsworth as Thor).
Cons: Has an odd first name; it’ll never fit on a marquee, love.
Odds: 8/1 – A fairly safe bet.
Who? The brooding talent of Mud and Joe, the slightly less brooding talent of films with more than three letters – The Scout’s Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse, for example. At 19, the bastard, he’s the youngest on the list, which could count either way.
Pros: Looks like a scruffy little nerfherder, accustomed to elaborate special effects and makeup, having worked with Nic Cage’s hair.
Cons: Yet to register highly on the quip-osity scale, perhaps a little young.
Odds: 25/1 – Didn’t make it onto Disney’s initial list of dreamboats, which doesn’t bode too well.
Who? Whispers abound that Zac, although not making it onto the initial shortlist, is firmly in the running. Handy, as the Efron brand is starting to suffer. His last leading vehicle was a dud and his next is far from a sure thing to reverse the trend. Could a return to the House of Mouse, where it all began with High School Musical, be the Hail Mary he needs? Or is it finally time to settle down and become a… character actor?
Pros: “In” with Disney, familiar with merchandising requirements.
Cons: Could the man who once sang ‘Start of Something New‘ really start something so new?
Odds: 15/1 – A sign of how far Efron’s stock is stalling, but worth a punt.