Alden Ehrenreich, who broke out as a dopey singing cowboy in the Coen Brothers’ 2016 comedy, Hail Caesar!, has landed a much more iconic role: Han Solo. The actor will play a younger version of the Harrison Ford Star Wars smuggler in Disney-LucasFilm’s upcoming Solo prequel spinoff, set to hit theaters on May 25th, 2018, Variety reports.
Variety reports that production will begin in January 2017; earlier this year, sources indicated that the delay could be to accommodate filming a Han Solo cameo for Rogue One.
While Hail Caesar! has earned Ehrenreich a new level of notoriety, the 26-year-old has built an impressive resumé, having worked with filmmakers like Francis Ford Coppola (2009’s Tetro) and Woody Allen (2013’s Blue Jasmine). The actor was also famously discovered at age 14 by Steven Spielberg after the director watched a goofy video Ehrenreich created for a Jewish friend’s bat mitzvah; Spielberg happened to be at the party and was impressed by what he saw.
“It’s a piece of shit,” Ehrenreich told Rolling Stone of the teenage project. “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. I’m this 14-year-old, skinny little kid with long hair. I break into her house, try on her clothes and make up a song. All of this is just us literally taking a camera and going like, ‘Okay, ha ha, do this.’ We showed it to our parents – ‘We’re gonna play this at her bat mitzvah!’ – and they were like, ‘You look like an idiot in this. I don’t think you should really do that.’ We didn’t care.”