Taron Egerton Explains Why He Turned Down Playing Han Solo, And How Close He Got To Harrison Ford’s Role

Taron Egerton in Kingsman and Harrison Ford in Star Wars: A New Hope
(Image credit: 20th Century Fox/ Lucasfilm)

There are popular movie franchises, and then there’s Star Wars. Generations were brought up on the galaxy far, far away, and there’s been a ton of new content since Disney acquired Lucasfilm. This includes TV shows and a few standalone movies like Solo: A Star Wars Story. Actor Taron Egerton recently explained why he turned down playing Han Solo in that project, and how close he got to Harrison Ford’s iconic role.

Solo was the second standalone film to join the Star Wars franchise following Rogue One. It was a somewhat troubled set, with actor Alden Ehrenreich offering his own swagger as a young Han. There were rumors that Kingman actor Taron Egerton also nearly landed that role, and he recently got honest about it while appealing on the Happy Sad Confused podcast. As Egerton shared,

I felt that– I mean, I’ll be honest, I got on the Falcon. I was with Chewie. I was in the full costume… and I… you know what, that’s what I felt like. I felt like I got there, I did it, I lived it. And there was one more… there was another round that I decided not to do. And it’s far enough in the past now that I feel I can say that. I hope no one feels annoyed that I have said it. But it just felt to me like I didn’t feel; like you know when we mentioned earlier. That thing when I read the Kingsman script and I was like, ‘This is– I’ve gotta do this. This is my part.’ I just didn’t feel it.

Talk about a close call. Not only was Taron Egerton up to play the title character of Solo: A Star Wars Story, but he got so far as entering the Millenium Falcon alongside Chewbacca. That’s already a dream come true for so many fans out there, but there was something about the role that Egerton didn’t respond to. And as such, he ultimately passed on the opportunity to play everyone’s favorite scruffy looking nerf herder.

Taron Egerton’s comments come from a longer appearance about his career on Happy Sad Confused, but eventually host Josh Horowitz turned the conversation to the rumors about him possibly playing X-Men’s Cyclops and/or Star Wars’ Han Solo. And now that it's been a number of years since Solo: A Star Wars Story hit theaters in 2018, Egerton felt like he could get honest about his brief experience in the beloved space opera. 

Later in that same conversation, Taron Egerton addressed the elephant in the room when it comes to playing Han Solo: the great Harrison Ford. Han is one of the most beloved characters in the entire franchise, and Ford’s performance has everything to do with that. As Egerton put it,

Yeah, and can really own it and really– ’cause you’re following Harrison Ford. No one ever wants to follow Harrison Ford, you know? So yeah, that didn’t happen.

Indeed, Alden Ehrenreich was the subject of countless comparisons to Harrison Ford from the moment he landed his role in Solo: A Star Wars Story. While he wasn’t blamed for the movie’s disappointing performance at the box office, it was definitely hard for fans to imagine someone else in the role.

Ultimately Solo stands out as the Star Wars franchise’s first box office failure, with plans for a sequel scrapped and standalone films put on hold. But now that the Skywalker Saga has come to an end, filmmakers should once again be given the freedom to explore corners of the galaxy far, far away. 

Taika Waititi is set to be the first filmmaker stepping up to the plate for Star Wars, since Patty Jenkins’ Rogue Squadron was put on indefinite hold. In the meantime, check out the 2022 movie release dates to plan your next movie experience. 

Corey Chichizola
Movies Editor

Corey was born and raised in New Jersey. Graduated with degrees theater and literature from Ramapo College of New Jersey. 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. He's particularly proud of covering horror franchises like Scream and Halloween, as well as movie musicals like West Side Story. Favorite interviews include Steven Spielberg, Spike Lee, Jamie Lee Curtis, and more.