Disney and Lucasfilm are zeroing in on their young, scruffy-looking Nerfherder for the upcoming, untitled Han Solo standalone film set before "A New Hope."
According to Variety, the studio has narrowed down its short-list of young Han Solos to just about a dozen young actors, and producer Kathleen Kennedy and directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller are expected to make a decision within the next few weeks.
Per the report, Miles Teller, Ansel Elgort (who professionally DJs under the name "Ansolo"), Dave Franco, Jack Reynor, Scott Eastwood, Logan Lerman, Emory Cohen and Blake Jenner are among the names making the cut. Filming for Lord and Miller's much-hyped Solo film doesn't officially begin until January, but the rush to find their Nerfherder might have something to do with production on Gareth Edwards's standalone feature "Rogue One: A Star Wars Story," which wraps in a few weeks. Reportedly, Solo might make a surprise appearance in "Rogue One."
If young Han Solo makes a cameo in "Rogue One," it could help us unravel the mystery of Disney and Lucasfilm's untitled Solo anthology film. "Rogue One" takes place before a "A New Hope," following a group of Rebel fighters who come together to carry out a crucial mission: to steal the plans for the Death Star before it can be used to enforce the Emperor's rule. It's been confirmed that the timeline of "Rogue One" will tie in loosely to the Disney Channel animated series "Rebels," which takes place five years before the events of Episode IV.
Harrison Ford was 35 when he played Han Solo in George Lucas' "A New Hope," and while Solo's age has never been officially confirmed, Lucas himself said he was looking for someone around the age of 30 to play the captain of the Millennium Falcon. If young Han Solo does appear in "Rogue One," and it does indeed take place approximately five years prior to "A New Hope," this means we're looking at a 24 to 26-year-old Han Solo.
Now, Hollywood is all about smoke and mirrors, and any one of these young actors could play someone in their mid-20s -- at 29, Eastwood is the oldest contender -- but it helps flesh out some of the details of this top-secret project. That being said, there's no official confirmation that young Han will appear in "Rogue One." In fact, Kennedy told EW back in August that Han will "definitely be probably in the high teens, low 20s."
Given the varying ages among the actors in the short-list, however, they're clearly still figuring young Han Solo's story out. We can only hope the film is a two-hour love letter to Han and Chewie's everlasting friendship.
All jokes aside, regardless of who gets cast in the role, we'll definitely be along for the ride.