I hate to say this because I am a longtime Star Wars fan, but I have exactly no hope for the Han Solo movie, and that has nothing to do with the fact that Chris Miller was fired from the production and Ron Howard took his place.
I have no hope for the Han Solo movie because Alden Ehrenreich is simply awful.
I’ve said Alden Ehrenreich was simply awful from the day I found out he was cast in the Han Solo movie, and unbeknownst to me and everyone else until recently, the Powers That Be thought so too. According to Metro, his performance in the film is so bad that an acting coach had to be hired to make sure that Ehrenreich can actually, y’know, act.
“More details are coming out about the atmosphere on set including how Lord and Miller’s experimental approach to film making clashed with Lawrence Kasdan, screenwriter and executive producer, and the decision by LucasFilm to hire an acting coach for lead star Alden Ehrenreich, as bosses were unhappy with the performance Lord and Miller were receiving. Maggie Kiley, a writer and director, who worked with the directors on 21 Jump Street, was then bought in with their cooperation.”
I hate to say “I told you so,” but yes, I told you all so.
How terrible of an actor do you have to be to need an acting coach while you’re in production?
No matter who would have been cast in the lead as the Han Solo movie, it would have been difficult to live up to the legend that was, and is, Harrison Ford. Ford, who has stated in the past that he actually hates Star Wars, and was thrilled when his character was killed off in The Force Awakens, turned Han Solo into a pop culture phenomenon, the swash-buckling space pirate, the hero archetype, and the walking, talking definition of “swag” before “swag” was even a word.
However, according to NME, Alden Ehrenreich wanted to turn this ubermensch into Ace Ventura, and the suits weren’t happy about it. (Come to think of it, had this hit the cinemas, neither would the fans be happy about it.)
“Alden Ehrenreich’s portrayal of a young Han Solo is described in the report as being ‘oddly comparable to Jim Carrey’s performance in Ace Ventura at times.’ It is further claimed that lead star Ehrenreich ‘let his concerns be known to one of the producers, who then told Kennedy about it, which led to her decision to look over the existing footage.’ This led to Kennedy and Kasdan becoming ‘deeply concerned’ with the direction of the film, according to an anonymous source.”
In the words of Han Solo, we’ve got a very bad feeling about this.
Exclusive images of Alden putting on Han Solo vest and holster & then eating some licorice pic.twitter.com/KI614JrXxT
— Chris Miller (@chrizmillr) June 12, 2017
The Daily Beast also agrees with this sentiment about the Han Solo movie being doomed from the start thanks to Alden Ehrenreich. Who knows what the directors saw in this rather ordinary looking, clearly terrible actor from the start — so much so that he beat out thousands of other actors ranging in age from 18 to 40 for the part — but they must have seen something.
Still, it bears noting that Ehrenreich never got any accolades for his acting, and he was always mediocre at best. Did they learn nothing from the casting of Jake Lloyd and Hayden Christensen as the young Anakin Skywalker/Darth Vader?
Even in the best case scenario — even assuming that Alden Ehrenreich was a phenomenal actor — the Han Solo movie wasn’t either required or desired from the get-go.
“Han is popular because Harrison Ford is likable. He has the charisma to draw in audiences and make them care about the smuggler turned Rebel Alliance leader. Attempting to replicate that seems unwise, but at least Alden Ehrenreich’s breakout performance in Hail, Caesar! made him a promising candidate for the spinoff. Sadly, the irony of Ehrenreich nailing his turn as a film star who can’t act in Hail, Caesar! is not lost on any of us as news broke that he’d been assigned an acting coach while filming was already underway for Star Wars’ Han Solo stand-alone.”
In this writer’s opinion, it’s better to burn the footage of the Han Solo movie and never let it be spoken of again because Harrison Ford — and only Harrison Ford — is Han Solo. Period.
[Featured Image by Stuart C. Wilson/Getty Images]