Star Wars Has Its Lando: Donald Glover

By October 21, 2016
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Hollywood’s biggest open secret is a big open secret no more.

billydee102116Lucasfilm has confirmed casting news that have circulated almost the moment the studio said “Han Solo origin film.” Actor and comedian Donald Glover has been cast as Lando Calrissian, reprising a role that originated with Billy Dee Williams in Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back.

Glover will join Alden Ehrenreich, who will portray the young Han Solo, in the origins film expected to hit theaters in 2018. The news was announced Friday by the official Star Wars web site.

This new film depicts Lando in his formative years as a scoundrel on the rise in the galaxy’s underworld – years before the events involving Han, Leia and Darth Vader in The Empire Strikes Back, and his rise to Rebel hero in Return of the Jedi.

The film will have not one, but two directors, by the way. Phil Lord and Christopher Miller, the team behind popular films like 22 Jump Street and The Lego Movie warned Glover had “big shoes to fill, and an even bigger cape. And this one fits him perfectly, which will save us money on alterations.” The two then joked in a statement that they were apologizing for Glover because they would “ruin” comic-con for him forever.

Glover received his major acting break in 2009 when he was cast on NBC’s critical comedy favorite Community as Troy Barnes. One of several highlights on the show, Glover’s character was raised a Jehovah’s Witness who wasn’t very bright in school, where his mother told him once he repeated a grade that it was normal for people to be 10 years old for two years.

He picked up the role after serving as an executive story editor for another popular NBC comedy, 30 Rock, where he also wrote two episodes.

Glover then broke into films, playing Andre in Magic Mike XXL, and now stars in an FX comedy series Atlanta, which he created.

gambino102116Using the stage name Childish Gambino, Glover also has two Grammy nominations under his belt for the rap song “3005” and his album “Because the Internet.”

Glover also is set to appear in next year’s Spider-Man: Homecoming, although Marvel has not revealed what role the actor will play.

The unnamed Han Solo film was written by the father and son team of Lawrence Kasdan and Jon Kasdan. The elder Kasdan wrote both The Empire Strikes Back and Star Wars: Return of the Jedi. He has been nominated for four Oscars in the 1980s and 1990s for his films The Big ChillThe Accidental Tourist and Grand Canyon.

Han Solo comes back to life in May 2018.

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Michael Hinman

Michael Hinman

Managing Editor at GeekNation
Michael has spent more than 18 years of his way-long journalism career in entertainment reporting as the founder of SyFy Portal, which would become Airlock Alpha after he sold the SyFy brand to NBC Universal. He's based in New York City.