Woody Harrelson's at the Sundance Film Festival right now promoting his new movie, Wilson, and you know what that means: someone slipped Woody Harrelson a Young Han Solo question in the middle of an interview.
Delightfully, Harrleson actually answered it.
Yes, Woody Harrelson will be playing Garris Shrike (a Star Wars EU character who first appeared in A.C. Crispin's The Paradise Snare) in Phil Lord and Chris Miller's upcoming Young Han Solo movie.
UPDATE: It would now appear that there's some question as to which portion of the question Woody Harrelson was answering. Lucasfilm Story Group member Pablo Hidalgo not-so-cryptically subtweeted about the situation ("I'll let others sort it out, but ask yourself - what question was he answering?"), leading us to believe that Harrelson may have only been responding to the "Han's mentor" portion of the question. This isn't an official denial, per se, but let's be real: Hidalgo probably knows better than we do. Anyway, the remainder of the original post is below, for posterity:
If you're wondering why Disney might be bringing in an EU character after announcing that the EU stuff was officially no longer canon, well, look: Disney can do whatever it likes with these characters (see also: Thrawn popping up on Star Wars Rebels), up to and including bringing them back in and molding them however they'd like. I mean, after all, they're just sitting there...
Anyway, if you're anything like me, you aren't a Star Wars mega-nerd and you have no idea who Garris Shrike is. That's totally fine. I've got you covered with an excerpt from the Wookiepedia:
Garris Shrike was the man who raised Han Solo. As a young man, he was a bounty hunter, but his quick temper kept him from collecting many live bounties. Instead, he turned to crime, collecting a group of orphans whom he used in confidence tricks and thefts, based aboard the decommissioned troopship Trader's Luck in orbit over Corellia. One of those orphans was Han Solo. Shrike rescued Solo from the streets, raised him, trained him, and beat him profusely when aggravated.
OK, well, I don't imagine we'll see Woody Harrelson profusely beating Alden Ehrenreich in Young Han Solo (or whatever the movie ends up being called). In fact, all we should expect right now is for this version of Shrike to be passingly similar to the one from the EU novels. He's be adapted for the new continuity, in other words, so some changes are going to be made. What those changes are remain to be seen, but I'm certainly curious to learn more.
I'm curious to hear what the hardcore Star Wars nerds in the audience think: you like that they're bringing in Garris Shrike or nah? Why or why not? Hit me up in the comments below.