Last May reports surfaced that actor Alden Ehrenreich was in final negotiations to play the role of young Han Solo in a new standalone film, and today at Star Wars Celebration the casting was confirmed. During the "Future Filmmakers" panel in London, directors Phil Lord and Christopher Miller explained that they had auditioned 3,000 actors across the world for the coveted role, before finally landing on their choice. Ironically, Ehrenreich was not only the final choice — he was actually the first actor the directors ever saw for the role. The process took six months in total, with the filmmakers asking Ehrenreich to screen test multiple times — including alongside Chewbacca.
Ehrenreich has been heating up in Hollywood in recent years, most recently making a big impression in the ensemble cast of Hail, Caesar! That film saw him tackling the role of an actor that was suave, brash, and not too bright, but Ehrenreich was able to bring a sense of earnest heart to the role — exactly the kind of combination needed to realize the Star Wars world's most infamous smuggler.
On casting Solo: "The person who got the part was the first person to audition. Literally the first person who walked through the door."— james vincent (@jjvincent) July 17, 2016
It also doesn't hurt that the actor has a roguish grin that's pretty close to Harrison Ford's. To drive home just how well the actors pair, we took the opportunity to pit them against each other in some iconic Star Wars situations. When it comes to Han Solo, there can be only one... until there's two.