Meet the new Han Solo! Alden Ehrenreich will play the iconic swashbuckler—and role made famous by Harrison Ford in the anticipated Star Wars standalone prequel film based on the character, which was announced last year.
The casting of Ehrenreich, a 26-year-old Los Angeles native who previously appeared in Blue Jasmine and Hail Caesar!, was revealed at the Star Wars Celebration Europe event in London Sunday, two months following reports that said he would play the part.
To the delight of the fans, the actor himself appeared in person onstage. He was greeted by John Boyega, 24, who made his Star Wars debut last year as Finn in Star Wars: The Force Awakens, the start of a third trilogy, which also saw Ford resuming the his old role. “You’re the new Han Solo! Damn!” he told Ehrenreich.
Fans learned at the Star Wars Celebration Europe event that Ehrenreich beat out about 3,000 actors who tried out for the role of Han Solo and was the first to audition. Other contenders included Divergent star Ansel Elgort, his co-star Miles Teller, Scott Eastwood, Harry Potter star Tom Felton, Dave Franco, Colton Haynes, Mr. Robot’s Rami Malek, The Walking Dead’s Chandler Riggs and Gossip Girl alum Ed Westwick.
The new Han Solo standalone film is still untitled and will be directed by The LEGO Movie’s Phil Lord and Christopher Miller. The film is set to hit theaters in 2018.