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The New Han Solo Was Discovered By Steven Spielberg

It was revealed yesterday that Disney and Lucasfilm have finally picked the actor who will star in the standalone Han Solo movie: Alden Ehrenreich. In all likelihood, this has something to do with his scene-stealing performance in Hail, Caesar!, making him the third actor to land a major Star Wars role fresh off a Coen Brothers movie. (Oscar Isaac and Adam Driver were both cast in The Force Awakens in the wake of Inside Llewyn Davis.) While Ehrenreich is only 26, he has already built an impressive body of work—including Stoker, Beautiful Creatures, and Blue Jasmine—and he owes much of the credit for that success to Steven Spielberg.

When Ehrenreich was 14, Spielberg spotted him in an extremely unlikely career-launcher: a bat mitzvah video. “It’s a video that this girl asked us to do,” he told Rolling Stone. “I mean, there wasn’t a script. We would go and just film whatever made us laugh. I’m this 14-year-old, skinny little kid with long hair. I break into her house, try on her clothes, and make up a song. All of this is just us literally taking a camera and going like, ‘Okay, ha ha, do this.’ We showed it to our parents—‘We’re gonna play this at her bat mitzvah!’—and they were like, ‘You look like an idiot in this. I don’t think you should really do that.’ We didn’t care.”

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Spielberg was sufficiently impressed to give Ehrenreich a meeting at Dreamworks and an introduction to filmmaking legend Francis Ford Coppola, who gave him the starring role in 2009’s Tetro. One thing lead to another and now Ehrenreich is Han Solo. While little is known about this prequel spin-off, we can report that it’s set before A New Hope, it’s being directed by Phil Lord and Chris Miller (21 Jump Street, The Lego Movie), and it’s being co-written by veteran Star Wars scribe Lawrence Kasdan.

Han Solo: A Star Wars Story (that’s the rumoured title) arrives in theatres on May 25, 2018.

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