Movie history is filled with stories of casting calls that threw out wide nets trying to find the right actor to embody a film’s character. The search for the perfect actress to play Scarlett O’Hara in MGM’s Gone With The Wind went on for two years and generated lots of publicity for the studio. (Though let’s face it, the continual publicity is probably the main reason why it stretched out for those two years.) More recently, the search for an actor to play Fifty Shades Of Grey‘s Christian Grey generated interest in that film among the book’s fans. But the search that may outsize them all could be the current one that is looking to lead Lucasfilm’s upcoming young Han Solo Star Wars spin off movie.
According to the Hollywood Reporter, the film’s casting director Jeanne McCarthy has already met with or received video taped auditions from some 2,500 actors all hoping to land the part of a lifetime. It’ll be McCarthy’s job to sort through all of these submissions to present a much smaller list of candidates to the film’s directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller.
The Reporter quotes an anonymous agent as saying “This has been the easiest movie to audition for. They are seeing everyone.”
But if you’re already planning your submission, you should probably know that among those 2,500 actors auditioning are such established names as Miles Teller, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Tom Felton, Ansel Elgort, Logan Lerman and Dave Franco and up-and-comers such as Nick Robinson (Jurassic World), Leo Howard (Kickin’ It) and Tony Oller (The Purge). Even those without much feature film experience are in the mix, with The Walking Dead‘s Chandler Riggs and Mr. Robot‘s Rami Malek reportedly having submitted themselves to the process.
The ages of the auditioners seems to range from Riggs’s sixteen-years-old to Franco’s 30. According to the Reporter –
The casting team is said to be looking for someone who looks at least a bit like a young Ford (now 73, he was 35 when the original Star Wars was released) and can be funny and charming as well as handle the expected action scenes. A few young comedians have been asked to read.
Needless to say, whomever gets the role would have their life and career transformed by the experience. Ford had virtually given up his acting career in frustration and returned to carpentry work when his former American Graffiti director George Lucas began the casting process on the first Star Wars film. Ford famously happened to be at the offices where Lucas was screen testing some actors fixing a door when he was asked if he would just sit in and feed lines to those auditioning. And the rest, as they say, is film history.
The young Han Solo movie will be the second of the Star Wars spinoff films that will fill the gap between releases in the main saga. The script is written by The Empire Strikes Back screenwriter Lawrence Kasdan and his son Jon Kasdan. Miller and Lord are expected to start production on the film in January 2017 with a May 25, 2018 release date scheduled.