Donald Glover has been laying somewhat low over the last couple of years, at least when it comes to live action acting roles. Now things are set to change for him, thrusting the talented actor/ writer/ singer back into the limelight in one of the world’s biggest franchises. He’s set to play Lando Calrissian in the titular show, Lando. But it doesn’t look like he’ll be the only guy playing the main character. From Geekosity, it looks like Glover will be sharing starring roles with Billy Dee Williams, also reprising his role from the original movies.
It was massive news when Disney announced they would be giving Lando a standalone series coming with their next phase of productions. Right away, there was increased speculation that Donald Glover would return to the role, that the studio likely wouldn’t have moved forward with it without the star’s buy-in. What was less clear was if Billy Dee Williams would be involved and the studio held out at first announcing its major casting decisions. It appears now we’ll get the best of both galaxies.
Donald Glover reprising his role from Solo in the Lando series seemed almost mandatory with the franchise continuing to maintain consistency among its characters through so many different productions. It’s remarkable really considering the size and scope of the franchise and how long it’s been running that they’ve been able to keep so many actors and actresses in roles. But that’s been basically standard operating procedure for all of their movies and television shows. The studio seems hesitant to bring a character back if it’s not going to be a familiar face like Donald Glover.
What’s even better is that because the Star Wars franchise operates in so many different timelines now, they’ve set the stage to have multiple actors play the same character. Look no further than the situation with Mark Hamill coming back as Luke Skywalker in the end of The Mandalorian season three finale. That was a situation in which the show used CGI de-aging to bring back a younger form of the character to fit the timeline. But going forward, it appears we might get Sebastian Stan as the younger Skywalker. This Donald Glover/ Billy Dee Williams news fits much of the same mold.
The events of Solo happen about 20 years after The Phantom Menace and 14 years before A New Hope which would put the Lando series and Donald Glover likely sometime in that same timeline. Meanwhile, Billy Dee Williams was last seen in The Rise of Skywalker. Even if we are playing fast and loose with timelines and the effects of makeup on *aging* a character, it stands to reason those are where we operating with this casting.
There is no confirmed release date for Lando at this point and really all we currently know is the star casting and that Dear White People’s Justin Simien is at the helm. But with Donald Glover on board, Billy Dee Williams coming back, and some solid direction, we could be looking at the next great addition to the Star Wars universe.