More than 2,5000 actors are vying to be the next Han Solo -- why it should be someone you don't know

Star wars han solo chewbaccaStar Wars screencapHarrison Ford as Han Solo in ‘Star Wars: A New Hope.’

Interest in “Star Wars” is at a fever pitch with the upcoming release of “The Force Awakens,” but that is just the opening salvo of the plans Disney has for the franchise.

Over the summer news broke that a Han Solo spin-off chronicling the younger years of our favourite space scoundrel (Harrison Ford, who reprises the character in “The Force Awakens”) is in the works with “The Lego Movie” directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller at the helm.

Now there’s an update on the project.

More than 2,500 actors have auditioned for the project, according to the Hollywood Reporter, including recognisable names like Dave Franco (“Neighbours”), Miles Teller (“Fantastic Four”), and Nick Robinson (“Jurassic World”), to name just a few.

According to the THR story:

“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.”

And casting directors are not just looking at American actors. They have also brought in Canadian and English actors to read.

Regardless of who gets the part, it’s going to be hard to fill Ford’s boots. And because of that, it makes a lot more sense to cast an unknown for the role, rather than an actor we’re familiar who will be judged as soon as the casting is announced.

But THR reports that Lord and Miller are taking “a 180-degree turn” from J.J. Abrams’ strategy of casting mostly unknowns for the new roles in “The Force Awakens” (John Boyega found attention with the 2011 British sci-fi film “Attack the Block“).

The untitled Solo project begins shooting January 2017.

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