Great news for “Star Wars” fans: actor Woody Harrelson has joined the cast of the upcoming Han Solo movie, set to arrive in theaters next year. The announcement was made on Wednesday on the official Star Wars website.
“We couldn’t be more excited to work with an artist with as much depth and range as Woody,” reads a joint statement from the film’s directors Phil Lord and Christopher Miller. “His ability to find both humor and pathos, often in the same role, is truly unique. He is also very good at ping pong.”
Although details about Harrelson’s character were not revealed by the directors, it was reported last week that he will play an early mentor to Han Solo, played by Alden Ehrenreich. Harrelson also joins Emilia Clarke and Donald Glover, who plays Solo’s frenemy Lando Calrissian, originally played by Billy Dee Williams in “The Empire Strikes Back” and “Return of the Jedi.”
A true TV and film veteran, Harrelson is known for a wide range of roles that include the TV classic “Cheers,” as well as the blockbuster “The Hunger Games,” and Oscar-winner “No Country For Old Men.”
This “Star Wars” spinoff is the second in a series of films that live outside the Skywalker family saga, and is set during the early scoundrel days of the iconic characters, prior to “A New Hope.” Set prior to the original trilogy, the film will tell the young smuggler’s backstory years before the events involving Luke, Leia and Darth Vader.
The as-yet-untitled film is being produced by Kathleen Kennedy, Allison Shearmur, and Simon Emanuel, and it’s scheduled for release in 2018.