Solo: A Star Wars Story director Ron Howard recalls that time that Harrison Ford privately praised Alden Ehrenreich’s take on Han Solo.
Alden Ehrenreich’s portrayal of Han Solo in Solo: A Star Wars Story was praised by Harrison Ford. It’s been more than two years since the last Star Wars anthology film hit theaters. While there are currently no plans for a sequel, it remains a favorite topic of conversation among fans, especially those who are still hoping to see a follow-up film.
It’s no secret that production for Solo was deeply problematic; arguably, it’s the most erratic one from the Star Wars franchise thus far considering how and when things unfolded. Directors Phil Lord and Christopher Miller were originally tapped to helm the project which started shooting in February 2017. At the supposed tail end of principal photography in June, it was suddenly announced that the directing duo was exiting the film. This left Lucasfilm scrambling to find a replacement with supposedly only three weeks left of work to be done. Eventually, they chose veteran filmmaker Ron Howard who reshot around 70% of Solo, effectively changing it almost completely.
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As chaotic as Solo‘s production was, the film turned out to be decent, with a string of good performances from Donald Glover as young Lando, Emilia Clarke as Qi’Ra, Woody Harrelson as Tobias Beckett, and Paul Bettany as Dryden Vos. Eyes were on Ehrenreich, however, who’s attempting to play one of the most iconic roles in movies that’s synonymous with Ford and make it his own. Howard recently revealed during his appearance on Lights, Camera, Barstool that Ford privately praised the young actor’s efforts.
Harrison Ford liked Solo very much, and he was very supportive when he saw it. And was so gracious and complimentary to Alden. He said some things publicly, but privately, it was really great to see him put his hand on Alden’s shoulder and say, ‘Great job kid.’ It meant a lot. Alden worked so hard and it was a very high-risk situation for him and he was a cool customer and was really a pleasure to work with, as was that entire cast, they are just a great bunch.
Admittedly, not everyone was on board with the idea of Lucasfilm doing a Han Solo prequel film; many deemed it too risky considering that the character has always been and will always be linked to Ford. Subjecting any actor under that immense pressure to deliver a different but still familiar take on the role was frankly almost unfair for Ford’s contemporary. Still, Ehrenreich did a great job in Solo, and it’s safe to say that Ford’s support played a pivotal part in it. Aside from Howard’s story, the veteran actor also met with Ehrenreich shortly after the latter was cast as the character. While the specifics of that meeting were never publicized, the fact that Ford would take the time out of his day to meet up with his contemporary was such a great gesture.
Howard’s latest comments in general highlight just how massively underrated Solo: A Star Wars Story is, not just in terms of box office performance, but also critical reception. Regardless of what went down between Lord and Miller and Lucasfilm, the remaining cast and crew still worked tirelessly to deliver a film that may not be the greatest Star Wars film ever but is good enough. Considering the circumstances that they were operating under, that in itself was impressive, and if Disney wants to try their hand again at the project and do right by this time, they have the opportunity to do so through Disney+.
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Source: Lights, Camera, Barstool
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