Alden Ehrenreich

Harrison Ford had been acting for 10 years before Star Wars catapulted him to stardom in 1977. Sure, he made an impression as hot-rodder Bob Falfa in American Graffiti, directed by George Lucas, and was menacing as a mysterious agent in Francis Ford Coppola's The Conversation, but he didn't break out until he portrayed the intrepid Han Solo.

Will the upcoming spin-off movie revolving around a young Han Solo do the same for its star? The movie will be directed by Phil Lord and Chris Miller (The Lego Movie, 21 Jump Street), based on a screenplay by Lawrence Kasdan and Jon Kasdan, and the casting process has been underway for months, with thousands of candidates under consideration. In January, we heard that eight actors had made the short list for the role, a list that was narrowed last month to three actors who were tested in London, with "a few other names" also touted, though not identified.

Following word via Deadline that Alden Ehrenreich was the front-runner for the role, ahead of Jack Reynor (Transformers: Age of Extinction) and Taron Egerton (Kingsman: The Secret Service), we've now heard via the Daily News (and its anonymous source) that the deal is all but done, with Ehrenreich rumored to be filming a cameo in this year's Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.

Ehrenreich received positive industry buzz after his very amusing supporting performance as an actor in Hail, Caesar!, the show business comedy from Joel and Ethan Coen. In this scene, the budding horse opera actor is suddenly thrust into a tuxedo and told by director Ralph Fiennes to recite a line of dialogue.

Like Harrison Ford, Ehrenreich also worked with Francis Ford Coppola, first in Tetro (2009) and then in Twixt (2011).

He starred in Beautiful Creatures (2013), a dramatic fantasy with a romantic element, as evidenced in this brief clip.

Clearly, Ehrenreich has the acting chops for nearly any role. Will he have a chance to dazzle us all as Han Solo? Time will tell. The untitled Han Solo movie is due out in theaters on May 25, 2018.