January 11 – this news is now confirmed by Lucasfilm.
— Star Wars (@starwars) January 11, 2017
After playing a mentor to Katniss Everdeen in “The Hunger Games” franchise, Woody Harrelson might help guide another iconic character’s journey.
Sources tell Variety that, while talks are still in the early stages, Harrelson is the top choice to play Han Solo’s mentor in the upcoming “Star Wars” spinoff starring Alden Ehrenreich.
Donald Glover and Emilia Clarke also star, with Phil Lord and Chris Miller directing. Disney had no comment.
The movie will be set prior to “Star Wars: A New Hope,” like the other “Star Wars” standalone project, “Rogue One,” which hit theaters on Dec. 16.
Kathleen Kennedy and Allison Shearmur are producing the spinoff film, which is expected to begin production in January. The movie is slated to hit theaters on May 25, 2018. Harrelson and Shearmur have close ties from their work on “The Hunger Games,” when Shearmur was overseeing the project for Lionsgate.
The ensemble has already begun filling with rising stars, but executives wanted this role to go to an actor with considerable clout, and started meeting with actors over the past several weeks.
The first “Star Wars Story,” “Rogue One,” has set the bar high. Along with overwhelmingly positive reviews, it has grossed more than $800 million worldwide, and is still in theaters.
In the past year, Harrelson has kept busy, appearing in the cop drama “Triple Nine,” “Now You See Me 2,” “LBJ,” and “The Edge of Seventeen.”
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