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About a month from now, we will finally get the second spinoff film in the Disney era of Star Wars. Solo: A Star Wars Story will take audiences back to the formative years of smuggler-turned-hero and cinematic icon, Han Solo. Taking on the unenviable task of playing the role popularized by Harrison Ford's performance is actor Alden Ehrenreich. But just because this is a spinoff film, doesn't mean that it's necessarily one and done for Alden Ehrenreich's Han Solo. In fact, the actor is signed on for more than one film. How many? This was his answer when asked:
Three. I don't know if that's officially, uh, public. But---yeah.
Well if it wasn't public before, Alden, it is now. While speaking with Esquire, Alden Ehrenreich let the cat out of the bag that he is signed on for three films, precisely two more than we are currently aware he will be starring in. This is quite interesting and raises some questions about Disney's plans for the Han Solo character and the standalone films moving forward. Does this mean that Solo: A Star Wars Story is the first chapter in a trilogy, or will young Han Solo show up in other Star Wars Stories or non-saga films? There are a lot of interesting permutations to this, so let's break it down.
It was a long casting process to find the young Han Solo, and the number of actors looked at was in the quadruple digits. Han Solo is at the core of Star Wars so it makes sense that Lucasfilm would want to go through such a process to find the perfect actor and then lock him down once it did. The first possibility of this three-film deal is simply that Disney and Lucasfilm wanted to sign Alden Ehrenreich on for multiple films just in case they decided they wanted to use the character in something else down the line. Multi-film contracts are common in franchise films such as this. For example it was reported that Felicity Jones' contract had an option for an appearance in another Star Wars film, and spoiler alert, her character was ash at the end of Rogue One.
Now that those business reasons are out of the way, let's speculate about some other possibilities. Han Solo is a fan favorite character, so it would be unsurprising to hear that Lucasfilm has a Han Solo trilogy in mind. Or maybe it plans to set several spin-off/stand-alone films in the era between Episode III and Episode IV, giving plenty of opportunities for Alden Ehrenreich's Solo to show up even if he isn't the main attraction. He could play a part in a bounty hunter movie or show up in the much-desired Lando movie. Depending on where Lucasfilm wants to go with the standalone films, there are lots of places where Alden Ehrenreich's Han Solo could be used.
Let's assume for a second that the three-film deal was struck with a Han Solo trilogy in mind. Why hasn't Disney announced it? This is where we get into the public behind-the-scenes trouble on Solo: A Star Wars Story. True or false, right or wrong, lots of that consternation has centered around Alden Ehrenreich's performance, and for some, the trailers have yet to dispel such fears. Perhaps Disney is waiting to see how well Solo does and how audiences respond to Alden Ehrenreich's portrayal before making any decisions or announcing any future Solo movies.
We'll see Alden Ehrenreich's charming smuggler soon as Solo: A Star Wars Story blasts into theaters on May 25. Stay tuned to CinemaBlend for all the latest on what's coming next in a galaxy far, far away.