Despite what you might think of it, the Han Solo solo / standalone movie is still moving forward for Disney.
As well as announcing the official kick-off of filming for Episode VIII, Disney's head-honcho Bob Iger confirmed that the spin-off Han Solo movie is confirmed for a May 2018 release. Pre-production has, according to Iger's statements, already begun with a likely casting announcement before the end of the year.
As we reported a while back, a number of high-profile actors in the running to take on Solo's waistcoat - including our very own Jack Reynor. We know from, well, The Force Awakens, that the story will be set before A New Hope and effectively tell the story of how Han Solo became Han Solo.
Lawrence Kasdan spoke recently enough about the Solo movie, specifically picking it out from a variety of potential stories.
"It will not be, “Here’s where he was born and this is how he was raised.” I think what it will be is what was he like 10 years earlier - maybe a little earlier, you’ll get a glimpse," explained Kasdan in a recent Q&A on the subject. Origin stories are, for the most part, a little bit of tedium really. It's usually a case of trying to establish a character and building the world. Here, Han Solo is a fully formed character, we know the world and we know what he's like.
The pitch, of course, is to show how he became the man we know - but will it work? A lot of it hinges on who steps into Solo's boots. It's easily one of the most iconic film characters of the past fifty years and there's a lot riding on it. One misstep by Disney / Lucasfilm and the spin-off series is effectively out the window. With directors Phil Lord & Chris Miller and Kasdan on screenwriting duties, that end of the equation is pretty much sorted. Lord / Miller directed the fantastic 21 Jump Street and, we think, have a solid grip on mixing action, adventure and humour in their own unique way.
Again, it rests on who they get to play young Han Solo. You can read our own picks over here to see what we make of it all. In the meantime, Star Wars: Rogue One is headed to our cinemas in the final weeks of 2016 with a trailer expected to be landing any day now.