What’s the first description of Han Solo that comes to mind? Aside from (a) “you’re a good fighter, Solo…I hate to lose you” and (b) fearless/reckless Millenium Falcon pilot who steers right into an asteroid field to escape Imperial fighters, I mean. The term I have in mind is “charming rascal.” And I have to say that’s the one attitude or vibe that I’ve never gotten from Alden Ehrenreich, who’s been hired to play young Solo in a Star Wars spinoff-prequel that’ll focus on Solo’s early adventures.

Alden Ehrenreich as Hobie Doyle in Hail Caesar!.

I’ve watched Ehrenreich in five films over the last seven years (Tetro, Twixt, Blue Jasmine, Stoker, Hail Caesar!), and while none of the guys he played in these films were Solo types, I’ve never sensed so much as a hint of a posturing macho undercurrent. He’s always struck me as the quiet sincere type — a guy you can trust or fall in love with or vote for. Unassuming, modest, steady. Which is partly why his most successful portrayal so far has been as the soft-spoken, aw-shucksy Hobie Doyle in Hail Caesar!. He’s an underplayer. Definitely not the sort to shoot Greedo under the table.

Ehrenreich also plays the romantic lead in Warren Beatty‘s untitled Howard Hughes dramedy, which will open sometime this fall.

Who would I prefer as Solo? It’s a moot point but I still like that guy who played a young version of Ford in The Age of Adaline and who does a killer imitation of Ford’s Solo schtickAnthony Ingruber. Ehrenreich is probably a better actor but who expects the Solo flick to be some Eugene O’Neill-level thing? Ingruber might be a lightweight (or not…who knows?) but he owns that cocky Solo thing.

The Han Solo prequel (the Guardian is reporting that the likely title will be Han Solo: A Star Wars Story) will open on 5.25.18. Lego Movie creators Phil Lord and Christopher Miller will co-direct.