×

Emilia Clarke Joins ‘Star Wars’ Han Solo Spinoff

Westeros and a galaxy far, far away are colliding! “Game of Thrones” breakout Emilia Clarke is joining the “Star WarsHan Solo spinoff.

Clarke will star opposite Alden Ehrenreich and Donald Glover, who play Solo and fellow smuggler Lando Calrissian, respectively.

All three leads endured grueling testing sessions for the standalone pic. The tests date back to the beginning of the year when thousands of actors first began meeting and reading for the role of the title character that Ehrenreich eventually nabbed.

“Selma” and “Creed” star Tessa Thompson, “Power Rangers” actress Naomi Scott, and Zoe Kravitz read for the female lead in October. Another group, which included Clarke, “Dope’s” Kiersey Clemons, fellow “Thrones” actress Jessica Henwick, and “Emerald City” star Adria Arjona tested in London. Clarke ultimately landed the role.

Execs and directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller, who are also penning the script, had tested another group in September, but decided on one more round after struggling to make their choice.

The movie will be set prior to “Star Wars: A New Hope,” like the other upcoming “Star Wars” standalone project, “Rogue One,” which hits theaters on Dec. 16.

Popular on Variety

Kathleen Kennedy and Allison Shearmur are producing the standalone film, which is expected to begin production in January. The film is slated to hit theaters on May 25, 2018.

The latest movie in the expanding blockbuster franchise, “Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” opened in December of 2015, and has hauled in almost $2.1 billion worldwide.

As for “Game of Thrones,” insiders on the show indicate that most of the major cast members will finish shooting by the end of the year. This season has a shorter episode count then previous ones; therefore Clarke’s involvement in season seven will not affect the Han Solo shoot, or vice versa.

When Clarke isn’t filming “Game of Thrones,” the hit HBO drama that recently earned her a third Emmy nomination for outstanding supporting actress in a drama series, she’s been appearing on the big screen. She starred as Sarah Connor in “Terminator Genisys” in 2015, and in “Me Before You,” which bowed in June and grossed $207.5 million worldwide on a $20 million budget.

Clarke is repped by CAA and Emptage Hallett.

More Film

  • All the Dead Ones

    'All the Dead Ones': Film Review

    There are a host of important, even vital ideas behind “All the Dead Ones,” a hybrid period piece addressing Brazil’s unresolved legacy of slavery and the imprint it’s had on an all-too-often downplayed contemporary racism of malignant toxicity. Set largely in 1899, 11 years after the abolition of slavery but designed so modern São Paulo [...]

  • Olivia Wilde

    Searchlight Aggressively Pursuing World Rights to Olivia Wilde's 'Perfect' at EFM

    Searchlight Pictures has emerged as the frontrunner for the Olivia Wilde-directed gymnastics movie “Perfect,” amid a days-long bidding war out of Berlin’s EFM. Variety understands that the studio is ‘heavily pursuing’ world rights to the hot title — one of a crop of female-led projects at the market — with A24, Warner Bros. and Neon [...]

  • 'High Ground' Review: Ugly Conflict and

    'High Ground': Film Review

    There’s a hint of John Ford to “High Ground,” a sinewy, sun-baked faceoff between indigenous and invading armies in the Arnhem Land wilderness of Australia, though by now we probably need a better word than “western” for films that situate the tensions and tropes of Hollywood operas in their own distinct geographical context. Handsomely mounted [...]

  • Undine

    'Undine': Film Review

    Christian Petzold’s “Undine” begins with a breakup. Framed tightly on the face of lead actor Paula Beer, we absorb the news as she does. But this is no ordinary separation, and as jilted lovers go, Undine’s far from typical. Her name betrays what sets her apart, although in the vast realm of mythological entities, undines [...]

  • Emma Movie 2020

    'Emma' Starts Strong at Indie Box Office

    Focus Features’ “Emma,” an adaptation of Jane Austen’s classic novel, had a solid opening at the specialty box office this weekend. Director Autumn de Wilde’s feature film debut earned $230,000 in its debut outing across five theaters in New York and Los Angeles, ranking No. 1 in each location. That success translated to a $46,000 [...]

  • Pablo-Guisa-and-Gabriela-Sandoval

    Morbido, Sanfic Share Specifics of New Joint Horror Initiative (EXCLUSIVE)

    Pablo Guisa, founder-CEO of the Morbido Group, Latin America’s largest horror conglomerate, based out of Mexico City, and Gabriela Sandoval, founder-director of Sanfic Industria, the Santiago Intl. Film Festival sidebar for projects and works in progress, met in Berlin to finalize details for the inaugural Factoría Mórbido-Sanfic, a joint initiative intended to strengthen the genre [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content