There’s a new member of the Star Wars family. After months of speculation, it was revealed on Sunday, July 17, that Alden Ehrenreich will take on the role of Han Solo in an upcoming stand-alone prequel that was announced last year.
The 26-year-old actor, best known for his roles in Blue Jasmine and Hail Caesar!, was even on hand to greet fans in person at the Star Wars Celebration Europe event in London on Sunday.
According to IMDb, John Boyega, who made his own Star Wars debut just last year as Finn in Star Wars: The Force Awakens, was all smiles as he welcomed Ehrenreich to the stage. “You’re the new Han Solo! Damn!” he said.
Variety reports that in addition to Boyega, 24, legendary Star Wars actors Mark Hamill and Carrie Fisher also made unscheduled appearances. (Harrison Ford, who played the wisecracking Solo in previous films, did not attend.)
“We thought this was the hardest casting challenge of all time,” director Chris Miller told the crowd as he sat alongside fellow director Phil Lord. “They were the biggest boots to fill.”
After auditioning more than 3,000 actors, including Divergent stars Miles Teller and Ansel Elgort, Scott Eastwood, Dave Franco, Colton Haynes, Harry Potter star Tom Felton, and even Gossip Girl alum Ed Westwick, Miller said, they ultimately decided to “cast the first person who walked through the door.”
In February, Disney made a mega announcement about Star Wars: Episode VIII, teasing some of the A-list actors who will be joining the Star Wars franchise.
“We are thrilled to announce Benicio Del Toro, Laura Dern and Kelly Marie Tran will join Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Mark Hamill and director Rian Johnson for Star Wars: Episode VIII, which begins shooting at London’s Pinewood Studio today,” the Facebook announcement read. “May the Force be with you, always.”
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