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Alden Ehrenreich cast as Han Solo in Star Wars spinoff

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There’s a new Han Solo in town. Alden Ehrenreich has landed the coveted lead role as the young space smuggler in Lucasfilm’s yet-untitled Star Wars spinoff movie, sources tell EW.

Ehrenreich, 26, recently appeared in Hail, Caesar! and is also playing a role in Warren Beatty’s long-gestating Howard Hughes movie. He reportedly emerged as a frontrunner for the Solo role in recent weeks, and beat out candidates including Miles Teller, Ansel Elgort, Taron Egerton, and Scott Eastwood.

News that Ehrenreich clinched the role was first reported by Page Six. Disney, which owns Lucasfilm, declined to comment on the casting.

RELATED: See All of Harrison Ford’s EW Covers Through the Years

Ehrenreich is nearly a decade younger than Harrison Ford (then 35) was when he first portrayed the swashbuckling pilot of the Millennium Falcon in the original Star Wars, released in 1977. Ford reprised the role in The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi, and more recently in The Force Awakens. Talking with EW’s Anthony Breznican late last year, Ford offered this piece of advice for the next actor to pick up Han’s blaster: I would say, ‘Talk to your director. Watch the movies. And welcome aboard. Make it your own.’”

Phil Lord and Chris Miller are directing the young Han Solo movie from a script by Lawrence Kasdan (The Empire Strikes Back) and his son Jon. It’s scheduled to hit theaters May 25, 2018.