Feb 15, 2013

STAR WARS Rumor Du Jour: Harrison Ford To Return As Han Solo?

If Disney is really serious about getting Star Wars: Episode VII into theaters by 2015,* then you should expect to get a deluge of news and casting announcements in the coming months.  Other than J.J. Abrams coming on board as director, information about the next trilogy has been surprisingly scarce so far.  Perhaps this little nugget is just the first in an oncoming avalanche...

Latino Review's superhero scooper extraordinaire El Mayimbe claims that Harrison Ford is officially signed on to reprise his role as Han Solo in Episode VII.  No official response yet from Abrams, Ford or Disney.

If it turns out to be true, this hardly feels surprising.  When news of the Disney deal initially broke, the first question on everyone's mind was, "Will Mark Hamill, Carrie Fischer and Harrison Ford be back?"  For his part, Ford was the first to say that he'd be willing to take up his blaster once again.  Of the three leads, it goes without saying that Ford has not only maintained the most star power, but he's also aged the most gracefully.  (Have you seen Mark Hamill recently?  Yeeesh.)  He also seems to be actively engaging in his career now after what amounts to a decade long nap.  Cowboys & Aliens doesn't really work as a movie, but Ford at least looks awake and alert.  He's also got the Jackie Robinson biopic 42 and the long awaited adaptation of Orson Scott Card's sci-fi classic Ender's Game hitting theaters this year, two movies genuinely worth getting excited about.

Add in the proposed "young Han Solo" standalone film in development and bringing Harrison Ford back into the fold as quickly as possible seems like a no-brainer.  I expect that when Disney makes an official announcement, it'll be a multi-picture deal that sees Ford appearing in more than just the new trilogy.  Remember that Disney is also the home of Marvel's connected cinematic universe.  I'm sure that the powers-that-be would love to duplicate that success by utilizing a similar approach to the Star Wars franchise.  If this young Solo film does happen, then it's practically a forgone conclusion that Ford would show up to bookend the movie and/or tie it into the events of the new trilogy.

I'm really hoping this thing actually pans out.  Ford's career is sort of a mystery; the guy's a genuine movie star who got bogged down by a bunch of truly mediocre films at the turn of the century and then essentially dropped off the map.  If we're lucky Ford could on the verge of a Bill Murray-like renaissance.

Then again, if this deal falls apart/turns out to be nonsense, I'd hardly blame the man for being gunshy about revisiting his other signature role after the clusterfuck that was Kingdom Of The Crystal Skull.

*This doesn't feel like a sure thing.  I've heard that Abrams has actually given Disney a bit of pushback, wanting to move the release back to 2016.  It's all going to come down to how quickly Micharl Arndt's script comes together.

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