Woody Harrelson is really leaning into the “quirky mentor” role: After providing dry commentary and roundabout advice to Jesse Eisenberg in Zombieland and Jennifer Lawrence in The Hunger Games, he’ll be mentoring Alden Ehrenreich’s young Han Solo in the upcoming Star Wars standalone film, directed by Phil Lord and Christopher Miller. StarWars.com confirmed the news today, with the directors saying, “We couldn’t be more excited to work with an artist with as much depth and range as Woody. His ability to find both humor and pathos, often in the same role, is truly unique. He is also very good at ping pong.”
Early reports from Variety and other outlets suggested that Harrelson would play a mentor figure to young scoundrel Han. While there have been no details about the character, we wouldn’t be surprised if screenwriters Lawrence and Jon Kasdan pulled from the Star Wars: Legends canon and had him play Garris Shrike, the Fagin-like bounty hunter-turned-criminal who rescued an orphaned Han Solo from the streets of Corellia and taught him everything he knew.
Harrelson joins Donald Glover (as Lando Calrissian), Ehrenreich, and Game of Thrones‘ Emilia Clarke (in an unspecified supporting role). The still-untitled Han Solo film is expected to hit theaters May 25, 2018.