Sure, everyone is talking about Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, the first of the new standalone films in the franchise from Lucasfilm and Disney. That's with good reason: the film debuts in just three weeks, and early projections are showing a Death Star blast-sized opening weekend. But the next standalone film, set for 2018 (after Star Wars: Episode VIII drops in 2017), also has generated buzz already, as Han Solo gets his own movie at last, telling the story of his younger days.
Chris Miller and Phil Lord, who proved their comedy adventure chops in The LEGO Movie and the 21 Jump Street film reboots, are directing the film, meaning it should have, well, comedy and adventure pretty well covered. Alden Ehrenreich stars as Han Solo, with Donald Glover as Lando Calrissian, Emilia Clarke cast in an unknown role, and sources say a young black female role has yet to be cast (with comic book fans hoping for Sana Starros, a character from the pages of Marvel Comics to be that particular character).
One of the bonuses to the Star Wars Story movies in Lucasfilm's eyes is the ability to tell stories in different genres. Rather than the Space Opera/Science Fantasy of the main Star Wars saga movies, these can reach out. Rogue One, then, tells a World War II-style adventure, with large-scale ground battles, ripping dog fights, and a daring deed behind enemy lines.
"[Han Solo] moves closer to a heist or Western type feel," said Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy in a Variety interview. "We've talked about [Frederic[ Remington and thsoe primary colors that are used in his paintings defining the look and feel of the film."
Remington was a 19th Century American painter who gained fame for his paintings of the frontier West, painting as a correspondent for Harper's Weekly, and as a commissioned artist for president Theodore Roosevelt (before his presidency). If you picture in your head a painting of cowboys, chances are, you're picturing Remington.
Suddenly, comparing shots of Ehrenreich in a cowboy hat in Hail, Ceasar to his future work in Han Solo is making a lot more sense.
Han Solo: A Star Wars Story is currently planned for a late May 2018 release, though some speculation has been floated that Disney may want to keep their Star Wars films in December after three consecutive (Force Awakens, Rogue One, Episode VIII) bows in that month, especially if Rogue One reaches the expected and hoped for success.
MORE STAR WARS NEWS: Disney CEO Bob Iger told JJ Abrams The Force Awakens Was a $4 Billion Movie | Star Wars: Jyn Erso, Darth Vader and Death Star Featured On Rogue One EW Covers | Rogue One TV Spots Feature New Footage | Will Darth Vader Use His Lightsaber in Rogue One?| Does Jyn Erso Have a Major Star Wars Artifact in Rogue One? | Alan Tudyk Warns New Star Wars Droid K-2SO Could Be A Danger| Before K-2SO: A History of Star Wars' Most Killer Droids