Young Han Solo: It’s the role coveted by every young white actor with an agent, even if, in the case of Whiplash star Miles Teller, they’ve never seen Star Wars before. After reports that thousands of the actors were up for the part in The Lego Movie directors Chris Miller and Phil Lord’s 2018 prequel, The Hollywood Reporter revealed that Disney and Lucasfilm has allegedly narrowed the search down to three actors: Hail Caesar’s Alden Ehrenreich, Transformers: Age of Extinction star Jack Reynor, and Kingsman breakout Taron Egerton, though previous reports included other like Teller and Dave Franco.
Teller appeared on the Happy Sad Confused podcast with host Josh Horowitz recently, and in between talking about 2015’s big box office bomb Fantastic Four, the actor confirmed that he did audition for the Han Solo role, but might have missed out because of his relative lack of Star Wars fandom.
““I had never even seen any of the original Star Wars movies until maybe a month or a couple weeks before my first audition because I was like, ‘I should check this out.’ It holds up. I just love Harrison Ford, I think that’s a great character. I love his brand, I mean so many guys would’ve played that part so wrong and he has humor at the right times. Harrison Ford is a very big actor, when you see the facial expressions and the things he does he goes big, but he’s just always the coolest guy in the room and he’s got all of those great qualities.”
Listen to the whole episode below:
Considering Teller had never seen a Star Wars movie until he absolutely had to, and could only muster a feigned compliment about Harrison Ford’s “brand,” maybe it’s for the best that Lord and Miller moved on — though Ford himself never cared all that much for a character he considered a bit dumb.
Egerton, for his part, played it dumb when asked about the role during a recent episode of The Jonathan Ross Show in his native Britain.
“I’ve heard this rumor, yes,” Egerton explained, perhaps a little too coyly. “I mean I’ve seen the stuff on the internet, and I think any lad of my age would kill to play a part like that. It’s very, very flattering. I’ve no idea if there’s any truth in it but I mean, Lucasfilm, Disney, if there is then you know where I am.”
When Ross pressed him even further, asking if either Disney or Lucasfilm had contacted him, Egerton responded flatly: “No, they’ve not,” before doing a pretty killer Chewbacca impression.
So is Egerton telling the truth, and if so, was The Hollywood Reporter wrong? When an actor is in talks or in serious contention for a big role it might be wise to just not talk about it, or to deny it outright if asked on, say, a national talk show since blabbering on about something tentative hurts negotiations or makes you look dumb if you don’t get the part.
If we have anything to say about it we hope Egerton is just taking a note from the J.J. Abrams playbook of denying something until audiences find out the truth. The Han Solo speculation continues.
Lord and Miller’s standalone Han Solo movie is set to hit theaters, with or without Teller or Egerton, on May 25, 2018