Before the Star Wars franchise even debuted in the entertainment industry and its first-ever movie Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope was yet to begin its production, the difficult task of whom to cast as Han Solo was the big prevailing issue. Although Harrison Ford ended up bagging the role, it wasn’t until several other top-rated stars rejected it before him.
The stars lined up for the part included two of the most famous The Godfather stars: Al Pacino himself, as well as James Caan, his late co-star from the film. And while both of them ended up rejecting the role of Han Solo, it wasn’t before taking a dig at the Indiana Jones star for having agreed to do it.
The Late James Caan Took A Subtle Dig At Harrison Ford When Offered The Role Of Han Solo
The late James Caan was truly an incredible actor, and perhaps that’s why he was rumored to have gotten the offer to play the role of Han Solo in the first-ever Star Wars movie. However, while this was never confirmed, The Godfather did admit that he wasn’t the right choice for the role before taking a subtle dig at Harrison Ford.
Appearing on The Howard Stern Show years later, he neither admitted nor denied this rumor of having turned down the lead role for Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope (via Mental Floss).
“They didn’t want an actor,” Caan said. “That’s why they got Harrison Ford.”
Though he was speaking from experience here after having worked with Ford once before in Journey to Shiloh, back when neither of them was offered the role of Han Solo, regardless, the Indiana Jones star managed to play the character so finely that it went on to spawn several more superhit sequels – both movies and television series – from the Star Wars franchise.
Al Pacino Belittled Harrison Ford Before James Caan For The Same Reason As Well
Before James Caan, director and original founder of the Star Wars franchise George Lucas was after Al Pacino to take up the role of Han Solo. However, The Godfather lead already had a lot on his plate with several movies scheduled back-to-back, leaving no place for Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope.
Although he regrets not taking up the role now, years after the first movie spawned a whole new multi-billionaire franchise, he also joked about having given Ford his career. In an interview with LA Weekly, Al Pacino said he was sent the script for the movie, but:
“[I read it] and I didn’t get it. I didn’t know why I’d do it. … So I gave Harrison Ford his career! He owes me so big! I’m gonna have him pay me back. I’m gonna have him build my house.”
Nonetheless, it was only for the better that both Al Pacino as well as the late James Caan turned down the lead role in the Star Wars movie, for if they had agreed to do it, fans might not have been able to witness and acknowledge Harrison Ford’s remarkable on-screen presence that followed!