Why Woody Harrelson Originally Turned Down The Han Solo Movie

Woody Harrelson as Haymitch

It's a good time to be a Star Wars fan. Because in addition to the main installments of the franchise (like Star Wars: The Last Jedi), Disney is also supplementing the franchise with standalone films. Rogue One proved this business model as a major success, and the next standalone movie will be Solo: A Star Wars Story. Focusing on a younger Han Solo, the film has a pretty outstanding cast consisting of Alden Ehrenreich, Emilia Clarke, Donald Glover, Thandie Newton, and Woody Harrelson. But it turns out that the latter almost gave up on his role as Han Solo's mentor Beckett. The reason: his schedule was just too busy. He recently revealed this by saying:

Honestly I'd been working, I'd done so many things back to back and I just wanted to go home. I was like, obviously this is something most actors would want to be a part of, but I just wanted to go home, so I decided not to do it.

Luckily for both Woody Harrelson and the Star Wars fandom, he was eventually convinced to change his mind and join the galaxy far, far away. After all, who turns down a role in the Star Wars franchise? Pretty much no one.

This news comes to us from Woody Harrelson's recent conversation with Yahoo. Later on in the interview he revealed he's glad he changed his mind and joined the impressive cast of Solo: A Star Wars Story. Now we just have to wait another year and change before we see what he actually does as Beckett.

Woody Harrelson has had a very busy work schedule for years now. A star of both TV and film, Harrelson has had his hands in some great franchises and properties including Zombieland, The Hunger Games, and Now You See Me. Perhaps its this work ethic that originally made Harrelson nervous to join Solo, as he doesn't seem to do anything half assed.

That being said, Solo is unique because it doesn't require Woody Harrelson or the other actors to sign multi-film contracts. Instead, the standalone films tell a contained story that will allow him to join the mythos of Star Wars without sacrificing his life and other potential jobs.

Woody Harrelson's trepidation to join Solo: A Star Wars Story probably had to do with the filming of his five 2017 films such as The Glass Castle and his villainous role in War for the Planet of the Apes. He also produced, directed, wrote, and starred in Lost in London. So it certainly makes sense that Harrelson would tread carefully not to overpack his already very busy schedule. But then again, it's friggin' Star Wars.

Solo: A Star Wars Story will arrive in theaters May 25, 2018, and Star Wars: The Last Jedi comes December 15th. In the meantime, check out our 2018 release list to plan your trips to the movies in the New Year.

Corey Chichizola
Movies Editor

Corey was born and raised in New Jersey. Double majored in theater and literature during undergrad. After working in administrative theater for a year in New York, he started as the Weekend Editor at CinemaBlend. He's since been able to work himself up to reviews, phoners, and press junkets-- and is now able to appear on camera with some of his favorite actors... just not as he would have predicted as a kid.