Much like when Harrison Ford first landed the role of Han Solo in Star Wars, Alden Ehrenreich, the actor who will reportedly play the younger version of the gunslinging hero, is still relatively unknown.
The 26-year-old L.A based actor, best known for his work in the Coen Brothers' Hail, Caesar!, has been working in Hollywood for more than a decade, getting his career start with a guest appearance on The CW's Supernatural. Since then, Ehrenreich has amassed more than a few low-profile roles in various movies, including Stoker, Blue Jasmine and Beautiful Creatures.
It wasn't until February and the release of Hail, Caesar! that most people begun to finally take notice of Ehrenreich as an actor. But one Hollywood veteran noticed Ehrenreich years ago, thanks to a home movie screened at a Bat Mitzvah in Los Angeles.
Ehrenreich told New York Times Magazine in 2009 that while he wanted to start acting at a very young age, his mother was concerned about the life child actors can lead and wouldn't allow him to go to auditions. Around the sixth grade, he and his friends started making home movies, and in one of the films, Ehrenreich tried on girls' clothing, ate a handful of dirt and ran around "like a skinny little punk." It wasn't until after the Bat Mitzvah that a group of friends told him Steven Spielberg had seen the tape and wanted to set him up with an agent directly from Universal Pictures.
That was the start of Ehrenreich's career, and the beginning of the actor meeting plenty of heroes he didn't think he ever would, including Francis Ford Coppola (The Godfather, Apocalypse Now). Ehrenreich told New York Times Magazine that when he auditioned for Coppola, out in the director's California vineyard and in various cafes, he spent most of their time together asking questions about Marlon Brando and learning more about Hollywood past.
To get the role of Han Solo, Ehrenreich beat out more than 2,500 other actors, including more seasoned veterans like Miles Teller (Whiplash) and Ansel Elgort (Fault in Our Stars), but the actor isn't new to the blockbuster auditioning scene. Ehrenreich first auditioned for the role of Peter Parker in The Amazing Spider-Man, but lost out to Andrew Garfield. A couple of years later, he returned to Sony to audition for the role of Harry Osborne in The Amazing Spider-Man 2, but once again, lost out on the role to Dane DeHaan.
Now, however, it looks like Ehrenreich has secured the role of a lifetime. The actor will be directed by Phil Lord and Chris Miller (The Lego Movie) in the stand-alone origin story about a young Han Solo and his best friend, Chewbacca. The movie, which is due out in 2018, will be the second stand-alone movie in the Star Wars universe following the release of Gareth Edwards' Rogue One: A Star Wars Story this December.