The Wire actor Michael K. Williams was part of the untitled Han Solo spinoff movie until its original directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller were fired from the project. With reshoots being done with the new director Ron Howard, it seems his schedule couldn’t accomodate the change. And so, Howard turns to an old friend for the role: Paul Bettany. The two have worked together on the films A Beautiful Mind and The Da Vinci Code.
Howard tweeted about the news recently and we found out he’s not exactly taking on the same role that Williams left behind. Instead of being a motion-capture alien, Bettany will play a human character. With Howard hinting about The Outer Rim, it’s possible he could be one of Han Solo’s scoundrel allies, as SlashFilm points out, or even a villian? The Outer Rim is known in the Star Wars world as the breeding ground for illicit activites after all. And while he’s a new character, it seems his presence in the film will have the same impact as Williams’ character.
— Ron Howard (@RealRonHoward) September 1, 2017
Williams doesn’t want to close all doors to working with Lucasfilm though. He expressed no bitterness over the changes and doesn’t want to say this might be the last time we’d see him in the Star Wars universe. The Han Solo film is expected to hit theaters in May 2018.
Cover photo credit: Gage Skidmore