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“I gave him a career”: Al Pacino Reveals Harrison Ford Owes Him for Turning Down $51.8 Billion Franchise Role

Al Pacino Reveals Harrison Ford Owes Him for Turning Down $51.8 Billion Franchise Role

Veteran Hollywood actor Al Pacino recalls how he turned down a massive role in the Star Wars franchise. George Lucas first offered Han Solo to Pacino, a role that eventually went to Harrison Ford. The actor revealed he was also given the script to read. On top of that, Pacino was offered a large sum of money for the part, but despite the handsome deal, he admitted he could not do it.

Al Pacino 2
Al Pacino

Star Wars first shot to space in a galaxy far, far away in 1977 starring Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, and Mark Hamill as the lead cast. The franchise became a game-changer and a pop culture hit, amassing a strong fan base from all over the world.

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Why The Godfather’s Al Pacino Refused Star Wars Role

Al Pacino spoke at The 92nd Street Y, New York, and confirmed that he was the first to get an offer for the role of Han Solo, a part that went to Harrison Ford. He said (via Variety):

Well, I turned down ‘Star Wars.’ When I first came up, I was the new kid on the block, you know what happens when you first become famous. It’s like, ‘Give it to Al.’ They’d give me Queen Elizabeth to play. They gave me a script called ‘Star Wars.’ They offered me so much money. I don’t understand it. I read it. So I said I couldn’t do it. I gave Harrison Ford a career.”

Indeed, the launching of the Star Wars franchise catapulted Ford’s career to new heights. During this time, Pacino was an in-demand actor who has just starred in two Godfather movies. It only made sense that he was wanted by many directors, especially Lucas, who is also a good friend of Francis Ford Coppola, director of The Godfather films.

Star Wars
Star Wars

There is no record of how much money Lucasfilm offered Pacino. From reports, Ford received $10,000 after his first Star Wars movie. Pacino was more popular and had bigger roles than Ford during this period, so he would have gained a higher paycheck if only he said yes to the job.

Interestingly, Ford has been given $25 million to reprise his role as Han Solo in Disney’s sequel trilogy, a whopping sum that Pacino would definitely regret today. Regardless, the latter claims that Ford owes him his career, as the role of Han Solo shot him to stardom and led the actor to many more projects after that.

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Al Pacino’s Upcoming Projects Include A Shakespearean Play And A Memoir

Al Pacino
Al Pacino

Because life can only be lived forwards, Al Pacino is moving on from the memory of Star Wars and now working on a new project – an adaptation of King Lear based on William Shakespeare’s famous play.

Despite announcing his retirement many years ago, he continues to accept projects and still plans to work on new things in the future. His most recent works include House of Gucci and Prime Video’s Hunters.

The actor is also writing a memoir about his prolific career. It remains untitled, and it will be written with a co-author. Al Pacino hopes his children will read it and look back at how he turned down a Star Wars role because he could not understand the story.

Source: Variety

RELATED: ‘Nobody Wanted Al Pacino’: Godfather Star Diane Keaton Says Pacino’s Disastrous Michael Corleone Audition Made Everyone Avoid Him Like the Plague

Written by Ariane Cruz

I write feature articles for FandomWire, mostly focusing on Marvel, DC, Star Wars, Netflix, HBO, and Hollywood news.