Han Solo, the iconic Star Wars rogue who flies the Millenium Falcon and never shoots first, will get his own stand-alone film, the Walt Disney Co said on Tuesday, directed by the Lego Movie and 21 Jump Street film-makers Phil Lord and Chris Miller.
The untitled Han Solo project, slated for release on May 25, 2018, will be the second stand-alone Star Wars anthology film, following the release of Rogue One next year.
These films will explore a separate part of George Lucas' intricate intergalactic universe and will intersperse the new trilogy of Star Wars movies kicking off with December's highly anticipated Star Wars: The Force Awakens.
The new Han Solo film will focus on the origin story of the character made famous in the Star Wars films by actor Harrison Ford, who will reprise that role in The Force Awakens.
Solo was introduced in the original Star Wars film as a former smuggler who takes Luke Skywalker aboard his ship, the Millennium Falcon, and helps him escape Darth Vader.
Solo becomes the lovable scoundrel of the Rebel Alliance, fighting against the oppressive Galactic Empire along with his friend and co-pilot Chewbacca, a bear-like "wookie."
"The story focuses on how young Han Solo became the smuggler, thief and scoundrel whom Luke Skywalker and Obi-Wan Kenobi first encountered in the cantina at Mos Eisley," Disney said in a statement.
Filmmakers Chris Miller and Phil Lord, best known for Lego Movie, the reboot of 21 Jump Street and also Fox TV's hit comedy series The Last Man on Earth, will direct the movie, which has yet to announce a cast.
“This is the first film we’ve worked on that seems like a good idea to begin with. We promise to take risks, to give the audience a fresh experience, and we pledge ourselves to be faithful stewards of these characters who mean so much to us. This is a dream come true for us. And not the kind of dream where you’re late for work and all your clothes are made of pudding, but the kind of dream where you get to make a film with some of the greatest characters ever, in a film franchise you’ve loved since before you can remember having dreams at all.” Miller and Lord said in a statement.
Writer-director Lawrence Kasdan, best known for co-writing The Empire Strikes Back, Return of the Jedi and The Force Awakens, will pen the screenplay with his son Jon Kasdan.
The Force Awakens is the first of three new Star Wars films being produced by Walt Disney Co since it purchased the franchise from Lucasfilm in 2012 for $4.05 billion.
The six previously released Star Wars films have grossed more than $4.4 billion at the worldwide box office since 1977 and spawned a legion of devoted fans.