With the recent news that Disney and Lucasfilm have vetted over 2,500 names for the role of Han Solo in the upcoming Star Wars spin-off film based on the character’s early days, speculation over who will inherit the role that made Harrison Ford a star is beginning to intensify. The potential actor has to be able to exude a roguish, handsome charm while also being able to pull off snappy, witty dialogue and have a flair for reluctant heroics, which isn’t as easy as it sounds. Chris Pratt is pretty much able to do this kind of thing in his sleep — which explains why his name keeps getting tossed around as a candidate for playing Indiana Jones, another famous Ford character — but at 36-years-old, he can’t exactly pull off a “young” Solo when he’s already older than Ford was when he first stepped into the role. Fortunately, there are a number of younger actors who could convincingly play a young Han Solo if given the opportunity, with the following 10 representing the shortlist of actors who could definitely do it justice.
10. Chandler Riggs (16)
Carl from The Walking Dead may seem like an odd choice to play a young Solo, but considering he’s already been looked at by Disney and Lucasfilm, 16-year-old Chandler Riggs must have something that the producers like and we’re inclined to agree. Riggs has really grown into his role, literally and figuratively, on the The Walking Dead over the course of six seasons and has shown that he has a range well beyond his years; able to portray rebellious angst and genuine emotion at the drop of a hat, two qualities that would go over well as a brasher, more inexperienced Solo. The only thing that’s working against Riggs is that he may be too young for the role, but that all really depends on what direction Disney wants to take the new film.
9. Richard Madden (29)
Having shown off his dramatic chops as an ill-fated young king in Game of Thrones and his undeniable charm as the Prince in Disney’s live action Cinderella, Richard Madden is arguably well-positioned to have the leading role in a blockbuster Disney film. One thing that works against Madden is the fact that he has yet to have a role similar to that of Han Solo, but he definitely has charisma and could make for a convincing reluctant hero. He could also really use a comeback after being so brutally killed off of Game of Thrones.
8. Miles Teller (28)
Teller has proven himself to be one of Hollywood’s finest up-and-coming leading men, with a body of work that showcases his natural charisma and flair for both dramatic and comedic material. Although he hit a recent snag with the failure of Fantastic Four earlier this year, landing the lead in a new Star Wars spin-off could be just the thing to take Teller — who arguably deserved an Oscar nomination for his role in last year’s electrifying music drama Whiplash — and his career into the stratosphere. Plus, he has just enough bullheadedness in real life to make him a natural fit for the Han Solo role.
7. Colton Haynes (27)
Colton Haynes is best known for playing Roy Harper on The CW superhero hit Arrow and if his work on that show is any indication, he’s not far off from becoming a sought-after leading man. Disney and Lucasfilm would be wise to pick him up for the Han Solo gig, as Haynes has proven himself an excellent supporting player on Arrow, regularly outshining series star Stephen Amell. Haynes emits that hard-to-find air of a rough-around-the-edges scoundrel with a heart of gold, which is pretty much the main qualification for being an acceptable Han Solo. That, and a good blaster pistol at your side.
5. Zac Efron (28)
Look, it’s time to put aside any High School Musical association you may have when it comes to Zac Efron, as he is arguably one of the hardest working, gifted young actors working in Hollywood today. Efron showed that he could be a huge comedic presence in last year’s frat comedy Neighbors and his dramatic work in The Lucky One proved that he’s much more than a pretty boy. Having paid his dues with a lot of thankless work, Efron is ready to hit the blockbuster big time and what better way than as a younger version of Harrison Ford. Plus, Efron is a bankable name at this point, which should give him a leg up over some of the unknowns in the running for this role of a lifetime.
4. Scott Eastwood (29)
The son of Hollywood legend Clint Eastwood, Scott Eastwood has been making the ladies swoon for awhile now with his rugged good looks, but he still hasn’t had that big break that would make him a household name. Playing a young Solo could be just the ticket Eastwood has been waiting for. He’s already had some blockbuster movie work, appearing in 2014’s Fury and the upcoming DC comics film Suicide Squad, so making the jump to Star Wars isn’t hard to imagine. Much like with Colton Haynes, it’s only a matter of time before Eastwood starts regularly getting leading roles, so Disney might as well invest now before another studio snatches him up.
4. Taron Egerton (26)
Taron Egerton charmed his way to stardom thanks to his memorable turn as the secret agent Egsy in this year’s excellent Kingsman: The Secret Service. The British actor is set to appear as Cyclops in next summer’s X-Men Apocalypse, proving that he is definitely leading man material. His role in Kingsman proved that Egerton is just as comfortable goofing around as he is being suave and heroic, and it would be interesting to see how he would use those attributes as one of the most popular antiheroes in all of cinema. Not to mention that he’ll be playing another popular rogue in Robin Hood Origins, due out in 2017, which is pretty much as close to playing Han Solo as you can get outside of science fiction.
3. Logan Lerman (23)
Lerman probably isn’t at the top of anyone’s list when it comes to obvious choices to play Han Solo, but given his body of work so far and his status as one of Hollywood’s best young actors, there’s little reason to think he couldn’t pilot the Millennium Falcon. Lerman proved himself early on with a memorable role in the 2007 western 3:10 to Yuma and has continued to build an impressive resume that includes the indie drama The Perks of Being a Wallflower and, like fellow potential Han Solo Scott Eastwood, the war picture Fury. Star Wars could be the natural next step for this talented young actor.
2. Liam Hemsworth (25)
Chris Hemsworth may be a superhero, but younger brother Liam “Baby” Hemsworth is still waiting for an iconic character to call his own. Sure, he’s had success so far, most notably playing Gale Hawthorne in the Hunger Games movies, but nobody cares about Gale. What Liam needs is a career-defining role like his big brother and Han Solo could be the answer. Liam definitely has the rugged looks to pull it off, but more importantly, he possesses a natural charisma and can hold his own in action-heavy scenes, something this Star Wars spin-off will likely have in spades.
1. Anthony Ingruber (25)
Ingruber needs to be part of any discussion surrounding the next actor to play Han Solo given that he pulled off such a convincing portrayal of a young Harrison Ford in The Age of Adaline. Although his role in that film was small, there’s no reason to think that Anthony Ingruber couldn’t sustain his impersonation skills over the course of an entire film, especially if this video of him impersonating Han Solo is any indication of what he could bring to the role. If Disney doesn’t put him on the shortlist, they’re doing it wrong.