Who Is the Best Fit on the ‘Han Solo Spinoff’ Shortlist?

Although shooting doesn’t even start for another year from now, Disney and Lucasfilm are close to naming their new Han Solo for the spinoff Star Wars film series. Similar to how Disney and Marvel plan to introduce their new Spider-Man, Tom Holland, with a small role in the upcoming Captain America: Civil War before his own feature film, a young Han Solo may appear in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story due out December 16th, 2016. The spinoff films take place between Episodes III and IV, so the target Solo actor is between the ages of 20 and 29.

Variety is reporting that “after seeing thousands of actors”, the list is down to Miles Teller, Ansel Elgort, Dave Franco, Jack Raynor, Scott Eastwood, Logan Lerman, Emory Cohen, and Blake Jenner. There may be more in consideration, but Variety knows the names have made the cut and that an announcement should be made within the next couple weeks.

The two names I don’t want to hear announced for the role are…

Solo Chicken

…Miles Teller and Dave Franco. The bad press around last summer’s Fantastic Four failure were as much Teller’s fault as anyone. He’s also just not that damn likable. Sure, it worked for Whiplash, but even then I found myself hoping every bad thing possible would happen to his character. And unless Franco has non-“Frat Guy Party”film on the horizon, I don’t need his smug grin flying the Millennium Falcon.

So who does fit, if the two more recognizable names don’t? Who pulls off the perfect combination of charm, cockiness, rough-around-the edges, and warmth that will make the Kessel Run in 12 parsecs?

Rather than brainstorm actors that could be potentially better, let’s work with the 3 best names on the list.

1. Emory Cohen

Emory Cohen

When I first read the list, Emory Cohen stuck out the most to me. Maybe it’s because I just saw him in Brooklyn, but the heart and humor in his performance were convincing enough. He has the smirk, the charm, the mannerisms, and he’s coming off a very successful film with Oscars buzz.

(Also in The Gambler, Beneath the Harvest Sky, and The Place Beyond The Pines)

2. Scott Eastwood

Screen Shot 2016-01-12 at 2.00.11 PM

The son of Clint Eastwood is the oldest of the actors in the running at 29 years old. Scott Eastwood has the pedigree and yes, the looks. Eastwood is also setting himself up to breakout in action/adventure films with a mysterious role in the upcoming Suicide Squad film. Rumors have him pegged as either Deathstroke or Dick Grayson but nothing is confirmed. Eastwood will be starring alongside Walton Goggins (Hateful Eight, Justified) in the upcoming western, Diablo. Han Solo is the closest thing Star Wars has to a space cowboy, so…

(Also in Gran Torino, Fury, and The Longest Ride)

 

3. Blake Jenner

Blake Jenner

Blake Jenner is young and a Glee alum, and feels like a dark horse pick. Most of his short resume is TV related, but he has some projects on the way that could lead to bigger things. Growing with Star Wars in spinoff franchise could be cool to see. He’ll be appearing in upcoming Supergirl episodes and could breakout in Richard Linklater’s Everybody Wants Some. It looks like what happens when Dazed and Confused goes to college.

 

4. Logan Lerman

Film Review The Perks of Being a Wallflower

Certainly not my favorite in the bunch, considering I like 3 more ahead of him, but Logan Lerman’s filmography section on his IMDB page is a bit more impressive than most on the shortlist. His starring role in Fury a year ago showed he’s matured from the Percy Jackson franchise. The babyface might hold him back from being the right fit, or maybe that’s exactly what Lucasfilm is looking for…I’ve also been rooting for him ever since Perks of Being a Wallflower. 

(Also in The Three Musketeers, 3:10 To Yuma, and The Patriot. 

Who would you like to see cast as young Han Solo? Let me know on Facebook or Twitter

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Academy Awards Picks 2015

Awards season has flown by, hasn’t it? The Golden Globes and their weirdness feel like yesterday…

Louie Golden Globes

Wait, that was like a month ago? Wow. It has also felt like a quiet season too, in terms of big upsets and such…hold on a sec…

SIT DOWN, KANYE!

Back to the show…

Besides the actual awards being announced, I can’t wait to see what Neil Patrick Harris has up his sleeve. There are few hosts who are as much of a showman as NPH. Multiple Tony Award shows, the Emmys, and now the Oscars…? He’s just a Golden Globes away from his own Hosting EGOT. NPH be criticized and scrutinized like everybody ever to host it, but I expect nothing short of something Legen…wait for it

If you need a reference of what to anticipate, check out one of my favorite award show opens of his.

The Picks…

Last year everything felt predictable. The Dallas Buyers Club boys, Matthew McConaughey and Jared Leto, took Best Lead and Supporting honors EVERYWHERE. Cate Blanchett did the same, like most Woody Allen characters do. Then Lupita Nyong’o and 12 Years a Slave, while not necessarily consensus favorites, didn’t surprise anyone with their wins.

This year isn’t so easy, and that’s a good thing. 2014 (and early ’15) was an excellent year in film and made it fun going to the movie theater every week. Why the Academy went with just 8 nominees for Best Picture is beyond me, but every film in the running is very deserving…

So was Guardians of the Galaxy.

Peter Quill MF

Anywho…

Best Actor in a Leading Role

Steve Carell – Foxcatcher

Bradley Cooper – American Sniper 

Benedict Cumberbatch – Imitation Game

Michael Keaton – Birdman or ( The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) 

Eddie Redmayne – The Theory of Everything

My Pick: Eddie Redmayne

It’s a loaded category. Benedict Cumberbatch was flawless in Imitation Game. Controversy over the man he depicted aside, Bradley Cooper rocked the “Punisher” logo he wore HARD. Steve Carell made everyone’s skin crawl (although I was more interested in Channing Tatum’s performance). And Michael Keaton carried the suspense of a bomb you were anticipating to explode…without the timer.

Eddie Redmayne’s performance as Stephen Hawking though was too special to deny. While I would love to see the award go to either Keaton or Cumberbatch, it’s Redmayne’s to lose at this point. His transformation into Hawking has won at nearly everything and fun fact…

The SAG winner in this category has won 100% of the time in the last decade.

(I do have to mention that I felt David Oyelowo was horribly robbed of a nomination in this category. Every bit as deserving as Cumberbatch, Keaton, Carell, and Redmayne…You can figure out who I left out.)

Best Actress in a Leading Role

Marion Cotillard – Two Days, One Night

Felicity Jones – The Theory of Everything 

Julianne Moore – Still Alice 

Rosamund Pike – Gone Girl 

Reese Witherspoon – Wild

My Pick: Julianne Moore

I know…Nothing too controversial here. Moore has won in nearly every awards show that matters. Cotilard won the New York Film Critics Circle award…and good for her. Moore is as every bit of the accolades for her role in Still Alice, and it’s amazing that this will likely be her first win in 5 tries. But if there was a sleeper pick to make here, I would take Felicity Jones. You couldn’t ask for a better compliment performance to Eddie Redmayne’s than Jones.

Best Actor in a Supporting Role

Robert Duvall – The Judge

Ethan Hawke – Boyhood 

Edward Norton – Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)

Mark Ruffalo – Foxcatcher 

J.K. Simmons – Whiplash

My Pick: J.K. Simmons

I feel bad for Edward Norton. He put out arguably his best performance of a great career in Birdman, but J.K. Simmons was just. too. good…

Best Actress in a Supporting Role

Patricia Arquette – Boyhood

Laura Dern – Wild

Keira Knightley – The Imitation Game

Emma Stone – Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)

Meryl Streep – Into The Woods 

My Pick: Emma Stone

Yeah, I can’t play the favorite on this one. Patricia Arquette has been cleaning up at award shows all season and I really don’t understand it. Yes, she was moving…but she wasn’t a showstopper like Emma Stone was.

Best Picture

American Sniper

Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)

Boyhood 

The Grand Budapest Hotel

The Imitation Game

Selma 

The Theory of Everything 

Whiplash 

My Pick: Birdman

I understand that this has turned into a 2 horse race between Boyhood and Birdman in terms of odds, but Birdman was clear and away the better film to me. I was more interested in how Boyhood was made than the actual product. Richard Linklater should, and probably will, win Best Director for presenting an entire childhood in 3 hours, but there wasn’t much of a story and the performances didn’t wow me more than the gimmick…

Birdman, on the other hand, is filled with performance after performance that grabs you by your collar, unpredictable, and has you at the end of your seat. Watching Boyhood, I just waited for Mason to finally grow up…but I loved the soundtrack.

That’s just me though…

Who are you picking to win tonight? Let me know and let’s talk about the show on Twitter @Mike_PiFF03.