Sunday at Star Wars Celebration Europe, directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller finally introduced the actor they chose to play Han Solo: Alden Ehrenreich. But perhaps more importantly, the 21 Jump Street and Lego Movie directors talked about their love of the character, proving that the galaxy’s favorite scoundrel is in good hands.
“I sort of relate to him,” said Phil Lord on the Future Filmmakers panel Sunday afternoon. “He doesn’t want to do anything that he’s told. When told not to do something, it makes him want to do it more. [He’s] very sarcastic and at the end of the day he’s unreasonably optimistic. I think that’s why we fall for that guy and we got so excited about making this movie. This kind of dichotomy between this grouchy seemingly cynical guy with the biggest heart in the galaxy. And to me that’s a great thing to make a movie about.”
“He’s a maverick, he’s a scoundrel, he’s clever but he’s not smart and he wants to present himself as this cool, tough guy but in the end he always does the right thing and that’s why you love him so much and why he’s one of the most iconic characters of all time,” added Miller.
Lord and Miller get the inherent contradiction that’s made Han Solo one of the most loved character in cinema, and it’s one of the reasons Lawrence Kasdan, co-writer of not just the Solo movie, but The Force Awakens, The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi, pushed hard for the duo to direct. “He was quite vocal about it in a way only Larry can be,” said Lucasfilm’s SVP of development and story group leader, Kiri Hart. “He had a tremendous amount of belief in them and a feeling that they were just the right people to do this. That ended up being really meaningful to all of us as we went forward and put the whole thing together.”
And don’t forget, Lord and Miller have already directed a Han Solo in a movie... it just happened to also co-star Batman.
Lord and Miller just moved to London to work on the Solo movie full-time and are currently working on the script with Lawrence and Jake Kasdan, as well as overseeing pre-production and set-building. They hope to start production early in 2017, with the movie targeted for summer 2018 release.