George Lucas Was Developing a Han Solo Film Before Disney Bought Lucasfilm
Here's an interesting bit of Star Wars trivia that I didn't know until today! Solo: A Star Wars Story co-writer Lawrence Kasdan recently revealed in an interview with EW, that he was actually developing a standalone Han Solo film with George Lucas before Disney bought Lucasfilm.
If George Lucas wouldn't have sold Lucasfilm to Disney, there's a good chance that he was on the road to launching his own Star Wars expanded cinematic universe, which is pretty cool. According to the report:
Even before Lucasfilm was sold to Disney in 2012, launching a renaissance of galactic storytelling, Lawrence Kasdan had signed on to put together a Han Solo-centric movie.
After Disney bought Lucasfilm, they wanted Kasdan to help write the script for The Force Awakens. The studio then wanted to move forward with that Han Solo film he was working on with Lucas. When talking about coming on board the project, that's when he worked his son Jon into the deal:
“When I was done, I was sort of burned out. And I said, ‘I don’t know, do we still want to do this Han thing?’…And they said, ‘Yeah! We really want you to go ahead with Han.’ And I said, ‘Well, my son, Jon, is very enthusiastic and full of ideas about the saga.’ And he had directed two movies and had done other things. ‘What if he came on and worked with me? Because, that would give me a shot in the arm.’ And so, that’s exactly what happened. They made a deal with Jon, and he and I have been writing since for three years.”
That must've been a pretty rad father and son project to work on together! I have no doubt that Kasdan worked in some of the ideas he had developed earlier with George Lucas. Of course, the film's story was inspired by other things.
Yesterday we learned that one of the main inspirations was Robert Louis Stevenson's Treasure Island. In regards to that, Jon Kasdan says:
"One we immediately reread was Robert Louis Stevenson’s Treasure Island because we wanted it to be a boy’s adventure story, but one in which he encounters characters of dubious intent, and that everyone he would encounter would sort of inform his maturation as an adult."
They then revealed that they were inspired by several different films including director Michael Mann's Heat, Clint Eastwood's Unforgiven, and The Coen Bros.' The Big Lebowski. When it comes to Heat, they looked at the relationship between Val Kilmer and Robert De Niro. Lawrence Kasdan Explains:
"We talked about the relationship between Val Kilmer and Robert De Niro in Heat, where there’s a sort of older, wiser criminal, and then someone who’s learning the ropes from them. We wanted this movie to have that flavor and that swagger."
As for Unforgiven, Jon Kasdan says:
"There’s a feeling in Unforgiven between the kid and Clint that hits the kind of [apprentice/gunslinger] relationship we were interested in."
Then when commenting on The Big Lebowski inspirations, he says:
"[We were] trying to create a crime movie where our character was entering a crime world where there were already dramas in place and relationships and complications, and we have to see him negotiate a lot more rivalries than he is expecting at the beginning of the story.
"[Solo] has that flavor of a crime world that has weirdness and surprise and people stumbling into things — and other people very intentionally getting into [trouble] The Big Lebowski is a great example because Solo has a more off-kilter tone than you’ve ever seen in [Star Wars]."
I'm hearing a lot of cool things here about Solo that is getting me more excited for the movie! I was a little apprehensive at first, but it really does seem like Lucasfilm is going to deliver a great movie. At least that's what I'm hoping for!
Solo: A Star Wars Story opens on May 25, 2018.