Al Pacino is regarded as one of the greatest actors of all time. But in 1970, he was relatively unknown in Hollywood. It wasn’t until 1972 that Pacino received his big break, starring as Michael Corleone in The Godfather, which led to other acclaimed performances in Serpico, The Godfather Part II, and Dog Day Afternoon. By the end of 1975, Pacino was a household name, with many studios wanting to cast the actor in their projects. And one notable role that came his way was a scoundrel by the name of Han Solo.
Pacino admitted to the crowd at The 92nd Street Y that because of his growing popularity in the ’70s, job offers came pouring in. As it turns out, one of the scripts he receive was for George Lucas’ original Star Wars film. However, in a major Hollywood sliding doors moment, Pacino passed on the opportunity.
“Well, I turned down Star Wars,” Pacino said. “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.”
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As we know, Harrison Ford eventually won the role of Han Solo, which served as his breakthrough in the business. Pacino joked that his decision to turn down Star Wars ignited Ford’s iconic run in Hollywood.
“They gave me a script called Star Wars. … They offered me so much money,” Pacino said. “I don’t understand it. I read it. … So I said I couldn’t do it. I gave Harrison Ford a career.”
Do you think Pacino would have been a good Han Solo? Leave your thoughts in the comment section below!
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