You just had to know that this rumor would hit eventually. Bleeding Cool claims
that "casting for a young Han Solo has been happening for a few months now, alongside the casting for Episode VII." Combine this with Disney CFO Jay Rasulo describing
the early Star Wars
spinoff films as "origin story" movies, and it begins to look like Disney may indeed be pursuing this predictable but major project after all.
Brendon Connelly of Bleeding Cool writes:
A basic description of the character – about as useful as “Han Solo, but young” – was created, agencies listed the role as a situation vacant and actors started to get in line. I don’t know if anybody has read for the role yet, but if they have, it was under an even heavier veil of secrecy than the saga casting is hiding. My best guess is that the filmmakers are very, very early in the process and just rounding up some candidates for now.
Of all the existing popular characters whose backstories are unexplored, Han Solo is perhaps the trickiest to package in origin-story form. For one thing, how many actors can credibly pull off a "young Harrison Ford" performance?
But finding the right young star is only one of the potential problems here. There's also the backlash that will inevitably ensue if Disney decides to detail the early years of a character whose shady past was a major part of his charm.
A young Han Solo spinoff film would certainly get traction from many fans who just want to see more of Han on the big screen. If Disney is really moving toward such a film, they are likely banking on the idea that this crowd will be larger and more vocal than the naysayers.