If he’s not careful, Woody Harrelson might find himself becoming a mentor in every single major franchise film series.
Why are we saying that? Because after playing Haymitch Abernathy – the mentor to Jennifer Lawrence’s Katniss Everdeen in The Hunger Games film series – it looks like the actor is close to becoming a mentor in another major film franchise: Star Wars.
Harrelson, who got his original big break playing Woody the nitwit bartender in the NBC comedy Cheers, is in talks to take on a role in the proposed Han Solo anthology film, according to Variety, playing mentor to Alden Ehrenreich’s title character.
Few details are known about the role, but it is expected to take place in the Star Wars timeline following Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith and before last December’s Rogue One. It will focus on the early exploits of Han Solo, the smuggler who was originally played by Harrison Ford, and killed off in 2015’s Star Wars: The Force Awakens.
Harrelson is a big name to add to the film, especially as he’s about to play the big bad in War for the Planet of the Apes, which hits theaters in July.
Harrelson is not only an Oscar-nominated actor, but he’s an Emmy-winning one as well. He nabbed the television trophy in 1989 for Cheers, and has eight other Emmy nominations to his name, most recently for HBO’s True Detective.
His two Oscar nominations came in 1997 and 2010 for The People vs. Larry Flynt and the Messenger. He would lose to Geoffrey Rush in Shine and Christoph Waltz for Inglourious Basterds respectively.
Harrelson also has his writing and directorial debut ready to hit theaters on Jan. 19 called Lost in London, which also stars Owen Wilson and Willie Nelson.
The other big rumor that has been circulating (but not confirmed) is that Disney’s Lucasfilm could consider pushing back the Han Solo film from May 25, 2018 to the end of 2018. This comes after Star Wars has dominated the last two Christmas holiday seasons, most recently with Rogue One, which has now earned $440.9 million domestically.
That could put Star Wars at the end of every year with Star Wars: Episode VIII due this December, and Star Wars: Episode IX planned for 2019. That might mean Lucasfilm could put together another anthology film for 2020.
However, no plans have been announced as of yet, and for now, the Han Solo film should hit theaters in May 2018.
The film was written by Jon Kasdan and Lawrence Kasdan based on characters by George Lucas. It will be directed by Phil Lord and Christopher Miller.
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