"We couldn't be more excited to work with an artist with as much depth and range as Woody," directors Phil Lord and Christopher Miller said in the release. "His ability to find both humor and pathos, often in the same role, is truly unique." They added, because they love a good non sequitor, "He is also very good at ping pong."
Harrelson's role, and the film's title, remain unrevealed, but he's rumored to be playing a mentor of sorts to Han Solo, played by Alden Ehrenreich in the movie. He joins a cast that includes Donald Glover as Lando Calrissian and Emilia Clarke also in an unnamed (and undescribed) female lead.
Following the success of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, the first standalone film in the franchise, Han Solo will tell a story outside of the core Skywalker saga. It takes place in the "Dark Time" era of Star Wars, between Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith and the original Star Wars film, A New Hope. That era has been explored in more depth recently with Rogue One, which ends literally minutes before A New Hope, and Star Wars Rebels, which takes place a few years prior. The novels Ahsoka, Lords of the Sith, Tarkin, A New Dawn, Lost Stars and more have touched on the era, as well.
Harrelson's acting career has spanned five decades, starting in the late 70s. He's most recently been known for his role as Haymitch in The Hunger Games franchise, where he played a mentor role, as Detective Marty Hart in True Detective, and will be seen later this year in several films including War for the Planet of the Apes as a villainous character.
Han Solo goes into principal photography in February, and its only official release date is currently 2018.