' ' Cinema Romantico: Six Degrees of Solo: (Properly) Casting the New Han Solo Movie

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Six Degrees of Solo: (Properly) Casting the New Han Solo Movie

The shortlist of actors to portray young Han Solo in the famous “Star Wars” smuggler’s 2018 origin story just dropped and, boy oh boy, is that list a letdown, straight milquetoast. The simple solution, of course, is not to make this movie, but this is Hollywood and Hollywood does stupid things, and Hollywood will continue doing stupid things until the earth crashes into the sun, and so the Han Solo origin story is coming whether we like it or not. So let’s buck up, readers, and deal with this new Han Solo casting head on.

How do you cast Han Solo? Harrison Ford is Han Solo and Han Solo is Harrison Ford. Trying to cast Han Solo is like…like…like…trying to cast Bob Dylan. I mean, how is it possible to cast Bob Dylan. Bob Dylan is Bob Dylan and Bob Dylan is Bob Dylan. But wait! Remember when Todd Haynes brought Bob Dylan to the big screen in 2007 and cleverly found a way around the unplayability of his principal subject? Knowing that no one could be Bob Dylan, he essentially crafted a film around the legend’s essence, offering people who were not like Bob Dylan in any way to embody the bard’s various characteristics. Granted, Han Solo isn’t really the shape-shifter that Dylan was/is; Han Solo is who he is. Nevertheless, Solo had distinctive traits, and to spotlight those traits and truly cut to the heart of Han, a character so ingrained as a certain actor in the public’s psyche, the only way to work around it is by summoning a few people to united and go generally against type for Cinema Romantico’s Han Solo origin story...“He’s Not Here.”

The Six Degrees of Solo


Neko Case. The genre-defying singer/songwriter is not an actor and that makes her perfect. Though Ford had acted when he assumed the Solo role, he wasn’t employed as an actor at the time, and that indifference afforded such a relaxation in his performance that he was practically floating. And Neko Case’s indifference and irreverence, a “What The Fuck Am I Doing Here Exactly?” aura would feed directly into that unforgettable Solo-y nonchalance.


Edward Norton. The finicky, if uber-skilled, Method actor turns his part into performance art, trying to find his way into Solo’s particular brand of roguishness with scenes of Norton work shopping Han-ish attitudes and mannerisms opposite Vera Farmiga, Anna Friel and Naomi Watts.

Smart Aleck

James Ransone. Han Solo has primarily been PC-consumption, but for “He’s Not Here”, he’s gonna stop being faux-polite and start getting real.


Brad Pitt in “The Counselor.” And I mean that literally; to embody the cynical essence of Han Solo I want Brad Pitt to simply reprise his role in “The Counselor” and make pithy asides while wearing a Stetson and slurping beer.


Val Kilmer. I can only imagine the Han Solo origin story will recount just how he made the notorious Kessel Run in less than 12 parsecs (and I can only imagine Cinema Romantico’s nemesis Neil deGrasse Tyson will take snot-nosed umbrage), but I have no idea how you render such a formidably mythic event on the actual screen. That’s like trying to bring the “Citizen Kane” girl with the white dress and the white parasol to the screen. Please! So instead we’ll sit Val Kilmer in a room of his choosing at his New Mexico ranch with a script in his hand and have him read aloud a monologue in character of how he, Han Solo, achieved the Kessel Run in less than 12 parsecs.


Marisa Tomei. In order to completely understand Han Solo, we have to understand where Han Solo came from, which was Corellia, which is a fictional planet that mostly just exists to give Han Solo somewhere to be from. And if anyone was capable of implicitly embodying the ethos of an entire make-believe planet, it’s Marisa Tomei.


s. said...

This is certainly better than what they are planning - that shortlist of actors who are candidates for the part made me sick

Nick Prigge said...

Agreed. None of those guys have any of the characteristics of a young Ford. It's like they were focused on Names rather than Qualities, which they probably were.