Harrison Ford could have not played Han Solo in the Star Wars universe, because an Oscar-winning actor was also approached for the role!
Al Pacino in a galaxy far, far away? This was once a possibility, since the Godfather actor had been offered a famous role in the Star Wars saga. Find out the very down-to-earth reason why he ultimately turned it down.
We are in 1976. Al Pacino is crowned with his first major roles. There is obviously The Godfather and its sequel, but also Serpico, The Scarecrow and A Dog’s Afternoon. Back then, the actor just has to choose his next project and he can literally have whatever he wants. And among the characters offered to him, there is… Han Solo!
And Pacino will simply refuse, for a good and simple reason that he gave to:
All of a sudden, I’m given a script called Star Wars. I answer them: ‘I received the script, they offered me a lot of money, but I don’t understand anything about it’.
And here’s how Han Solo didn’t end up with that head:
Finally, Pacino will prefer the role of Formula 1 driver Bobby Deerfield, in which he gives the reply to Marthe Keller in what looks like a retelling of Love Story.
At the start, moreover, the character of Han Solo had been envisaged by George Lucas as an extraterrestrial in the form of a large green monster. He later reviews his copy and decides instead that an African-American actor will have the role (auditioning for the occasion Billy Dee Williams, future Lando Calrissian of The Empire Strikes Back).
Finally, the director changes his mind again and finally wants a white actor. This is when the script would have arrived on Al Pacino’s desk. But Lucas will ultimately make the decision to hire Harrison Ford for Han Solo, whom he had turned in American Graffiti, and whom he used to give the actors a reply during their auditions for the other characters.
Amused, the actor concludes his anecdote with a joke: “Harrison Ford owes me his career, but he never thanked me!”
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