I’m not comfortable sharing a view with a large number of angry people on the internet but I’m afraid that my initial feeling following the release of the Han Solo film trailer is that Alden Ehrenreich looks horribly miscast. When a big section of the audience reacted badly to The Last Jedi I did think that there by the will of God go I and now I may be one of the naysayers. (I just mean I could be one of the people who didn’t really like it, not one of the rabid, racist, misogynistic man babies who throws their toys out of the online pram.) I do love Star Wars though and I have been precious about it before so I could turn to the snark side. I’m sure I’ll still be there on day one, crossing my fingers in the cinema, but I have concerns.
The problem is that we are familiar with Han Solo, we have known him for forty one years and we have watched the four films he appears in over and over again (okay, some of us have). The comics and the books have extended this effectively as well but based on the little we have seen so far, Ehrenreich is playing someone else entirely. He doesn’t look right, he doesn’t sound right, he doesn’t move right. They’ve recast James Bond and Batman five times and it has always felt true to the character. On top of this, every single actor in J.J Abrams Star Trek reboot was spot on but they don’t appear to have got the right guy here. Also, Ford’s Solo was cocksure but, judging by the snippets of dialogue we hear, Ehrenreich’s is arrogant. It’s not the same thing.
With me not being the first to share this opinion on the web there are already passionate counter arguments. It has been suggested that there is no way they were ever going to be able to cast anyone to convincingly play a young Han short of CGI de-aging Harrison Ford (which no one wants) so we should just shut up. Anyone who thinks this hasn’t seen The Age of Adeline though. Anthony Ingruber played a young version of Ford’s character in that film and he absolutely nailed it. The resemblance is uncanny but he way Ingruber captured the voice and mannerisms was freaky too. Then there is the little matter of how perfect Donald Glover looks as Lando Calrissian. I mean, if there really isn’t anyone other than Harrison Ford who could properly play this part then why are they making this movie in the first place?
The rest of the trailer looks good so I’m still optimistic but I’m sorry, great as Alden Ehrenreich was in Hail, Caesar! I can’t help worrying they’ve got this wrong.
Anthony Ingruber in The Age of Adeline
Alden Ehrenreich in Solo: A Star Wars Story