A couple of weeks back word hit that “Hunger Games” and “Cheers” alum Woody Harrelson had been approached about joining the “Han Solo” spin-off at Disney. Further word had it that Harrelson would play a mentor of the title character.
StarWars.com, though skipping on the character details, have just announced that Harrelson’s deal is done. More here.
What a career boost Woody Harrelson’s had in recent years – to go from playing second fiddle characters in the likes of “Ed TV” and “Semi-Pro to robbing scenes in the likes of “No Country for Old Men”, “Now You See It”, “Rampart” and TVs “True Detective”, clearly he’s drinking from the same boot that his regular cohort Matthew McConaughey does.
While “Indecent Proposal” (remember that one? The one where Robert Redford pays him a bunch of money to sleep with his wife, Demi Moore) was the film that convinced moviegoers that ‘the wacky bartender from Cheers’ could play ‘serious’, it’s commonplace now to see Harrelson not only in very dissimilar projects but ones that stretch his acting muscles. And he’s about to do it again. In a Galaxy far, far away.
Harrelson’s spent the last few years doing “Hunger Games” movies, playing a pivotal part in the Lionsgate franchise, and looks set to dive into another [potential; it hasn’t been confirmed yet that this won’t be simply a one-off like “Rogue One”] series.
According to Variety, Phil Lord and Chris Miller are talking to Harrelson about playing the title character’s mentor in “Han Solo”. The standalone “Star Wars” movie, reportedly due for release in either May or December of 2018, stars Alden Ehrenreich in the role made famous by carpenter turned actor Harrison Ford.
The part Harrelson would play was reportedly offered to Christian Bale, among others, before the “Edge of Seventeen” star signed on. Bale likely passed because of his reluctance to get involved in another big studio tentpole, following his “Batman” series, or was simply insulted to be offered the ‘mentor’ role – he is still pretty young, after all – that might otherwise had been offered to one of his co-stars, like Morgan Freeman (in the “Batman” series). Harrelson likely came to mind as a possible replacement because of his similar role in “The Hunger Games” franchise.
Before “Han Solo”, Harrelson will be seen in “The Glass Castle’’ and Fox’s ‘’War for the Planet of the Apes”. Determined for the media to forever label him ‘versatile’, he’s also circling a sequel to his horror-comedy “Zombieland”.