In a surprise revelation that gives a select handful of screeners 10 full days of lead time on the rest of the moviegoing public, Solo: A Star Wars Story will make its official debut on May 15 at the 2018 Cannes Film Festival.
The early premiere, first reported by Deadline, will introduce Solo at Cannes ahead of its May 25 global release date. The Cannes showing reportedly will unfurl the Ron Howard-directed Star Wars universe movie “in a special screening” for the French audience.
The Han Solo-focused backstory feature, which underwent significant development changes after Howard stepped in to replace early directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller, marks Disney's second installment in the Star Wars anthology series of films following the success of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, which premiered in late 2016.
The canonical anthology series sits alongside the nine-movie mainline Skywalker saga, which will conclude in 2019 with the release of J.J. Abrams' untitled, in-development Star Wars: Episode IX.
Plot details on Solo remained tight for so long into its development that, even now, we’re only somewhat acquainted with how the galaxy’s favorite scoundrel will find his youthful way. The life-indebted Chewbacca is set to show up in Solo, as is the story of how Han came to win the Millennium Falcon. A recently-teased set piece centering around a train heist also looks to frame Han’s evolution as a character whose propensity for saying “yes” to morally ambiguous deeds carries forward — with an ultimately happy outcome — in his later years as a member of the Rebel Alliance.
Solo: A Star Wars Story stars Alden Ehrenreich in the title role, alongside Emilia Clarke, Donald Glover, Woody Harrelson, Thandie Newton, Paul Bettany, and Joonas Suotamo.
Cannes opens this year on May 8 and concludes on May 19.