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Disney is deciding which of these actors will play young Han Solo

Disney is deciding which of these actors will play young Han Solo

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The still-untitled Han Solo-focused Star Wars spinoff movie is years away still, but Disney is already close to deciding on who will step into the boots of the galaxy's most famous smuggler, Variety reports. The company has apparently narrowed a longlist of thousands down to just a dozen actors who could be selected to play a younger version of Han, including Dave Franco, Scott Eastwood — son of Clint — and Whiplash star Miles Teller. Also among the chosen are less well-known actors Ansel Elgort, Jack Reynor, Logan Lerman, Emory Cohen, and Blake Jenner.

Disney needs to have their Han selected soon because the smuggler is reportedly set to make an appearance in the first Star Wars spinoff to see screens, the upcoming Rogue One. But Disney will need to be particularly careful with their casting of young Han, or else turn a whole new generation of moviegoers against one of the most loved characters of all time.

In the original movies, Han Solo walks a mightily fine line between "unbelievably charming" and "ridiculously punchable," only straying to the positive side thanks to sheer force of charisma from Harrison Ford. The carpenter-turned-actor stepped into the role in his late 30s, bringing the kind of laid-back physical confidence, galaxy-weary attitude, and genuine charm that allowed him to respond to the line "I love you" with "I know" and not sound like a total dick.

On the other hand, the actors reportedly selected by Disney so far shade young, with most in their early 20s. That could be dangerous. Ford's Solo was also self-deprecating, snarky, and — Leia was right — a little scruffy. A young Han with the chiselled jaw of the all-American quarterback, too pristine and too preppy, could too easily turn that snark into smug, too easily make Han's common complaint — "it's not my fault!" — into the whine of a privileged space adventurer used to getting his own way, not the refrain of a rogue who barely makes it out by the skin of his teeth.

Disney has a good record so far with Star Wars, scoring two jackpots with Daisy Ridley and John Boyega as new central characters Rey and Finn, but none of the actors noted in Variety's shortlist are immediate mental replacements for a young Solo. A more established actor could work, but Chris Pratt, one of the more obvious heirs apparent to Ford's charming crown, is already wearing the sweet duster of another space scoundrel — Guardians of the Galaxy's Star Lord.

In the meantime, much fan support has coalesced around 25-year-old Anthony Ingruber, a spitting image for a young Harrison Ford who played a version of the actor in last year's The Age of Adaline, and uploaded his own reel of Han Solo impressions as far back as 2008. Or perhaps Disney might go even further, selecting — as they did with Ridley — an almost unknown for the job. However they do it, they'll need a Solo soon, given the prodigious number of Star Wars spinoffs already on the slate. So, the next question — who plays young Chewbacca?

Star Wars Every time Chewbacca speaks in Star Wars

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