Speaking to Variety on Sunday, Zombieland star Woody Harrelson revealed that he will play the future smuggler’s mentor in Han Solo’s upcoming standalone film, verifying a rumour first reported earlier this month.
Asked if he is playing “the Han Solo mentor” Garris Shrike, Harrelson replied, “Yeah, I am,” making it unclear if he was confirming both his role in the Star Wars film and the character’s name or only the former. The movie, which does not yet have a title, is scheduled for a May 2018 release.
Other confirmed cast members include Aiden Ehrenreich and Donald Glover, who will play a young Han Solo and a young Lando Calrissian, and Game of Thrones’ Emilia Clarke, whose role in the film has not yet been announced.
In the (now non-canon) Star Wars expanded universe, Garris Shrike is a cruel, Fagin-like, former bounty hunter who leads a group of child thieves, including the orphaned Solo. In a violent showdown, Solo eventually escapes Shrike and becomes a pilot for the Imperial Navy.
In 2014, the expanded universe was rebranded as Star Wars Legends and placed outside the official Star Wars universe to avoid contradictions with future storylines, so it’s unknown if Harrelson’s character will share qualities with the mentor that first appeared in A. C. Crispin’s Han Solo novels.