Star Wars: Why Al Pacino Turned Down Han Solo
While not an evergreen pop culture, Star Wars didn’t always seem like a sure thing, which led to Al Pacino turning down a role in the franchise.
Star wars has spent so long as a beloved part of pop culture, it can be easy to forget how risky a proposal seemed at first. George Lucas’ efforts to resurrect the Flash Gordon-style space opera with a mythical upgrade and better special effects felt like a disaster for the whole world. Even the director himself felt it, as he the famous co-created Indiana Jones while on vacation in Hawaii in an effort to escape what he thought was a disastrous reaction to his galaxy far, far away.
This spread to the cast, which eventually drew notable names like Alec Guinness and Peter Cushing. But it also resulted in a number of big stars being considered for the coins, only to turn them down. Out of all of them – who probably all kicked themselves the minute the first box office returns arrived – few wereted the luck like Al Pacino, who was virtually assured of the role of Han Solo.
Lucas had achieved a huge success with the years 1973 American graffiti and had the change in Hollywood to launch what at the time seemed like a very strange project. This previous film was produced by Francis Ford Coppola, for whom Lucas had worked in the early days of the two directors. The two have remained friends and colleagues throughout their careers, collaborating on later projects like Tucker: The man and his dream and Captain EO.
That would put Pacino in Lucas’s circle almost by default. Coppola had directed the actor in the years 1972 The Godfather and 1974 The Godfather, Part 2 where he achieved cinematic immortality as Michael Corleone. It was followed by people like Serpico and Dog day afternoon, leaving Pacino as an A-List star and one of the most respected actors of his generation.
It also made Pacino an easy choice for Han Solo, an intergalactic smuggler with flexible morals and a street attitude that matched the same characters who made the actor a star. Launching it would give the project instant box office appeal and perhaps convince more influencers in Hollywood that Lucas’ passion project deserved more attention. Against some strangers at the time, Mark Hamill and Carrie Fisher, this would have made a very compelling core trio of heroes.
Of course, this did not happen. Although Pacino was offered the role before Harrison Ford, he was not interested. In a 2015 interview with The independent, the actor claims he didn’t understand the script. It wasn’t necessarily a deal breaker – few seemed to understand what Lucas had in mind before the film’s release – but given Pacino’s status at one point, it’s no surprise that he could focus on a job he found more convincing.
The actor has been more than courteous about the turn of business, noting that in 2013 An evening with Al Pacino that this made Ford a big star in its own right, when Pacino’s status was already assured. Ford then spent the 80s appearing in blockbuster after blockbuster, while Pacino suffered a career hiatus around the same time, only toppling it after the 1989s. Sea of ââlove. Considering Star wars“and how plausible a Han Solo Pacino could have been, that says a lot about how a casting decision can change the story of the film.
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