Star Wars Han Solo, Boba Fett Spinoff Movies Get New Details

Everyone's favorite space smuggler and bounty hunter are being primed for standalone movies.

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As the marketing machine gears up for December's release of Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens, new details have emerged about two of the scheduled standalone Anthology movies.

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In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy discussed plans for a film focusing upon the young Han Solo. Phil Lord and Chris Miller, the duo behind The Lego Movie and the 21 Jump Street films, have already been hired to direct the movie, which is now scheduled for a May 2018 release.

Kennedy addressed the issue of casting a younger actor as the "high teens, low 20s" Solo at the same time that Harrison Ford has returned to the role that made him famous in the continuing saga movies. Kennedy explained that the key to the film working would be to not spend a long time building up the character's backstory.

"I think the key here is that we are identifying an event or events in Han Solo's life that gives you some idea of who he is and why he is the character we have all known to love," she said. "We don't want to spend time going back and answering a lot of questions that, quite frankly, I don't think people want answered."

The choice of Lord and Miller as directors is key to understanding the approach that Lucasfilm are looking to take to the Solo movie, Kennedy stated. "You can imagine, given who we've chosen to come in and direct, it should be very entertaining and funny," she said. "Han Solo is the character inside Star Wars that everybody knows has a wit and sense of humor. So that's what this should be."

Screenwriter Lawrence Kasdan--who has co-written Episode 7, as well as The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi--will be penning the film, with his son Jon. Kasdan told EW that he chose the Solo project from a number of possibilities presented to him by Lucasfilm. "They said, 'Here are the things that we'd like to make movies about,' and I said, 'Oh, well, Han Solo. I would write a movie about Han Solo. He's always been my favorite.' And that's the job that I took."

Meanwhile, the Anthology film focusing on the villainous bounty hunter Boba Fett has been moved back to 2020, swapping places with the Solo movie. This follows the departure in June of Fantastic Four director Josh Trank, who left "to pursue some original creative opportunities." According to Kennedy, the project is still very alive.

"It's still one of the stories that we absolutely want to tell," she said. "There is a lot of innovative technology in and around what it is we're doing with that story, so for a lot of reasons, we were comfortable postponing that. But we're definitely still developing it. We're trying to get to a point where we're never rushing for anything."

Star Wars Episode 7: The Force Awakens will be released on December 18, 2015. The first of the Anthology movies, Rogue One, will follow in 2016, directed by Godzilla helmer Gareth Edwards.

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