'The Wire's Michael Kenneth Williams Joins The Han Solo Film Cast, But What Role Will He Play?
At the rate that details are sneaking out about the upcoming Han Solo Star Wars film, it's fixing to be a long, information dry spell until the untitled project is released on May 25, 2018. That means now's the perfect time for speculation on everything from what the actual plot is to who Michael Kenneth Williams will play in the Han Solo movie. Williams, who might be more familiar to you as Omar Little from The Wire or Albert “Chalky” White in Boardwalk Empire, was announced Monday as an official addition to the cast, but further details were not forthcoming. It's not surprising if you're familiar with how Disney and Lucasfilm operate, but that doesn't mean we want to twiddle our thumbs for the next year or so and wait to be told whom the actor will be portraying.
So let's get to the gossip. There's not much of it, yet, because this project is so far in the future. However, the early whispers are that Williams might be playing the Han Solo film's villain. There's no word on who that villain would be — whether an existing character from Star Wars canon or a new invention — but Variety's Justin Kroll said he got the vibe that Williams has been added to fill the role of villain.
Although it's now being picked up by other outlets like ScreenRant, the rumor is still hazy enough at this point that Kroll didn't even include any reference to it in either the title or the body of his actual article on the upcoming project. Instead, he mused upon it only in his tweet promoting the post.
As you can see, Kroll was able to share almost no details about his hunch, up to and including which sources he based it on. However, he was also the writer responsible for breaking the news of Williams' casting in general in the Mar. 3 article cited above, so his sourcing has been proven sound elsewhere.
If it's me speculating, I'd say there's a pretty good chance that Williams is being cast to take on the villain role; he's proven with his Wire and Boardwalk roles in particular that he is masterful with a complex, layered character. It would be hard to label Omar Little as definitively good or definitively bad; instead, he verges into the antihero category, which would be a very interesting realm to see a Han Solo villain to enter. Similarly, in Boardwalk Empire, Walker plays a bootlegger, a man whose livelihood is illegal, but whose motives in taking it on you can understand, if not always embrace.
Essentially, the actor has invaluable experience in building a the kind of not-quite-villain that would slot perfectly into the Star Wars world. So, even if they didn't hire him specifically to play the anti-villain, they should really consider it.
Regardless, at this point, I'm desperate enough for Han Solo movie details that speculating is all I can and will be doing from now on. Well, at least until more nuggets of information leak.