May 7, 2016
Meet The New Han Solo: Is Alden Ehrenreich The Next Leonardo DiCaprio?

The search for the new Han Solo is over! Disney and Lucasfilm confirmed that Alden Ehrenreich will take over the role of Han Solo from Harrison Ford in the upcoming Star Wars spinoff.

The standalone film will be released on May 25, 2018, and will be directed by Phil Lord and Christopher Miller, who are behind the action comedy 21 Jump Street and animated film The Lego Movie. Lawrence Kasdan, who wrote The Empire Strikes Back, The Force Awakens, and Return of the Jedi will produce the film, while his son, Jon Kasdan, joins him in writing the standalone film.

According to the Daily Beast, the Star Wars spinoff used to be a top secret project called "Project Red Cup" back in 2013. Disney and Lucasfilm have been auditioning actors between the ages of 20 to 25; and there were even some who are as young as 17 and as old as 34. Out of the thousands of Han Solo wannabes, only a dozen were shortlisted.

Jack Reynor and Taron Egerton
[Photos by Andrew Toth and Jeff Spicer/Getty Images]Variety revealed in January the actors who made it to the list and it included Scott Eastwood, Dave Franco, Miles Teller, Jack Reynor, Ansel Elgort, Logan Lerman, Emory Cohen, and Blake Jenner. Last month, three names emerged as the top actors being chosen for the role of Han Solo and these were Alden Ehrenreich (Beautiful Creatures, Hail Caesar!), Jack Reynor (Macbeth, Sing Street), and Taron Egerton (Kingsman: The Secret Service, Eddie the Eagle).

The lucky young man who bagged the much-coveted lead role in the Star Wars spinoff is the Los Angeles-born actor. Out of all the actors that were short-listed, he is the least known that's why the announcement came as a surprise to many people. However, Ehrenreich may have been the producers' choice since the beginning.

Alden Ehrenreich and Steven Spielberg
[Photos by Alberto E. Rodriguez and Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images]Not many people know that Alden was discovered by award-winning director and producer Steven Spielberg, who is good friends to Star Wars creator George Lucas. The two even co-created the Indiana Jones films together. During an interview with Rolling Stone, the 26-year-old actor revealed his first encounter with the 69-year-old director.

When Ehrenreich was just 14, he created a bat mitzvah video for a Jewish friend and Spielberg happened to be in the party since his daughter, Sasha, was good friends with the celebrant. He starred in the video and didn't expect that will be the start of his career in acting.

"It's a piece of s**t," Alden said laughing. "It's a video that this girl asked us to do. I mean, there wasn't a script: We would go and just film whatever made us laugh."

In the video, he played a 14-year-old skinny kid with long hair who broke into the house of a girl and tried on her clothes and made up a song. He showed the clip to his parents who told him that he looked like an idiot and advised him not to show it to the crowd. However, he just didn't care what other people would say.

Alden Ehrenreich and Francis Ford Coppola
[Photo by Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images]Steven Spielberg was impressed by the teenager's performance that he asked him to meet him up at his studio in Dreamworks. The director introduced him to Francis Ford Coppola, who gave Alden Ehrenreich his first acting gig in Hollywood. He starred alongside Vincent Gallo in the film noir Tetro. Find out how he landed the role of Bennie and his experience working with the renowned American director in the video below:
The young actor received positive reviews from the critics and the late Roger Ebert even labeled him as the next Leonardo DiCaprio. Since then, Alden Ehrenreich continued to star in non-traditional Hollywood films just like Leo when he was younger. The actor recently starred as a cowboy in the comedy Hail Cesar! which was directed by the Coen brothers. Get to know his character in the featurette below:
All eyes will be on Alden Ehrenreich as he fills in the shoes of Harrison Ford in the Star Wars spinoff. This movie may even launch him to stardom just like Leonardo DiCaprio when he starred in Titanic.

[Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images]