Solo: A Star Wars Story never made the leap into hyperspace. Facing bad publicity from behind-the-scenes turmoil (original directors Phil Lord and Christopher Miller were fired midway through production and replaced with Ron Howard), backlash for the recasting of a role Harrison Ford made iconic, and a screenplay that went several parsecs too far in terms of fan service, the Lucasfilm prequel barely had a chance when it arrived in theaters in 2018.
But nearly five years after crashing and burning at the box office, the narrative seems to be shifting. Solo, once a social media punching bag, is now being referred to as “the most underrated Star Wars movie.”
Alden Ehrenreich, who delivered a spirited and generally well-reviewed lead performance as the young cocksure Han, acknowledges the evolution of opinion on the film.
“I have. I mean, you definitely have those things happening on the internet over the last few years,” Ehrenreich tells us in a new interview promoting his buzzed-about upcoming thriller Cocaine Bear, where he was joined by costar O’Shea Jackson Jr. “And it feels like a shift.”
Alden Ehrenreich says yes, he's noticed Solo: A Star Wars Story getting more fan love recently.
"You definitely have those things happening on the internet over the last few years. And it feels like a shift."
He also talks about reuniting with Lord & Miller on Cocaine Bear. pic.twitter.com/aekQpPtAqe
— Kevin Polowy (@djkevlar) February 15, 2023
The 33-year-old Los Angeles native, who was discovered by Steven Spielberg at a bat mitzvah as a teenager, says he has long felt the love from fans despite Solo’s rocky launch.
“It’s also always kind of felt like that to me on the ground. I feel like there was a lot of [negativity in the press], but the actual feedback that I always got from it was really great.
“I just love talking to a kid who saw it — some little boy or little girl — who’s so excited. That’s the best, you know?”
Cocaine Bear — the Elizabeth Banks-directed horror-comedy loosely based on the actual story of a black bear that ingested narcotics dropped from a drug trafficker’s crashing plane — is a reunion for Ehrenreich and Lord and Miller, who serve as producers on the film.
The filmmaking duo, who have helmed such hits as 21 Jump Street and The Lego Movie and won an Oscar for Spider-Man: Into the Spider-verse, were fired from Solo about three-quarters through production because of disputes with Lucasfilm execs over the movie’s tone. Howard ultimately stepped in to salvage the film.
“We went out and got dinner when I was talking about it originally,” Ehrenreich says. “And it was great. I knew they were coming to set [but] I didn’t know when.
“I did my first scene in [Cocaine Bear], which is also [chronologically] my first scene in the movie. And as soon as they yelled, ‘Cut,’ I went outside and they were standing there and had been watching it [on the monitors]. I didn’t even know they were there. So it was really great to be on set with them after those few years.”
Cocaine Bear opens Feb. 24.
Watch the trailer: