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It’s been three years since Lucasfilm president, Kathleen Kennedy, announced that a new series titled Lando was being developed for Disney+. The series based on the popular Star Wars character, Lando Calrissian, was announced without a release date or cast attached, but Kennedy did reveal that the project was being written by Dear White People’s Justin Simien.
Since that day, news has been sparse on the Lando series, with Solo: A Star Wars Story star, Donald Glover, seemingly revealing last year that he would be returning to the role. Donald played coy about whether or not he was returning for the Lando series when asked by Jimmy Kimmel, with Glover asking, “Am I?”, before confirming he would and went on to say that he’s working on “a ton of stuff” at the moment. At the time Glover was promoting the third season of his hit series, Atlanta, and had just wrapped filming its fourth and final season. Glover also signed a deal with Amazon Prime Video to develop multiple series, and recently released his first effort on the streaming service, Swarm, and plans to release his second series for the streamer, Mr and Mrs Smith, later this year.
It appeared last year that Glover was very busy with his other television commitments, and was also open about returning to music. Kathleen Kennedy was pressed for an update on the series last year during Star Wars Celebration, with Kennedy revealing that there had been no movement on the series since it’s announcement, but not for lack of trying. Kennedy went on to say that it’s Donald Glover that “holds all the cards”, and that Lucasfilm were patiently waiting for him to come their way. At the time Kennedy mentioned that Glover was busy with a television series, which became Swarm, and that he planned to shoot another shortly after, Mr and Mrs Smith, with the Lucasfilm president hoping he’ll be free once those projects had concluded. However, since then Glover has signed on to do a Community movie which is set to film this year, and signed on to star in Hypno Hustler, a movie focusing on a little know Spider-Man villain.
Donald Glover seems to be just as busy as he was last year, and he’s not the only one, as the writer of the Lando series, Justin Simien, signed an overall deal with Paramount in August of 2021 to develop multiple premium television series for the studio, likely for its streaming service, Paramount+, with his first task being a TV series reboot of Flashdance. Simien’s next directorial effort, Haunted Mansion, is slated to be released in theatres this July.
That brings us to present day, and covers all that’s been said publicly regarding the Lando series. Donald Glover sat down with GQ where he was asked about various roles he’s played, and naturally the topic of playing Calrissian arose. When asked about possibly returning the role of Lando, Glover said:
“I would love to play Lando again – it’s a fun time to be him. It just has to be right, it just has to be the right way to do it. I’m all about…now time is precious and I think everybody’s been like, the past couple years with the pandemic shit like, really had people experience time in a way where they’re like, ‘I should be around oranges’, and like people kind of realise that their time is valuable. You only get so much [time]. I’m not interested in doing anything that’s going to be a waste of my time or just a pay check. I’d rather just spend time with people that I enjoy. It just has to be the right thing, which it could be. Lando is somebody I’d like to hang out with. We’re [Donald and Lucasfilm] talking about it and that’s all I can say without Kathleen Kennedy hunting me down.”
Glover seems very open to returning to a galaxy far, far away and reprising the role of Lando Calrissian, and it’s a positive sign that he’s still in communication with Kathleen Kennedy and Lucasfilm regarding the project. However, his comments also feel somewhat reminiscent of that of Damon Lindelof, the original witter of the untitled Star Wars movie set to release in 2025. Lindelof said that if the film “can’t be great, it’s shouldn’t exist”, before departing the project. The thoughts of Lindelof sort of echo in the comments of Glover, with Donald claiming that any project he does has to be the right one as he views his time as valuable and won’t settle just for a pay check.
Personally I’ve always been sceptical of the Lando project ever coming to fruition, not because I don’t want it to, I love Glover as Lando and have always wanted to see more of him, but just because the announcement felt sudden and not very far in development. Since then there’s been such minor updates and very little progression on the project, it just doesn’t seem to have momentum behind it. I hope I’m wrong and the project gets developed. I hope we get an update at Star Wars Celebration on Friday, but I’m doubtful.
As mentioned, Donald seems very open to a Lando return, and discussed various roles he’s had with GQ. Below you can read another quote from Glover from his GQ interview where he discusses why he loves Calrissian, and why he thinks fans do too.
“Lando, I guess for some reason, people think this is a real black person in space [laughs] – I don’t know why. I remember my Dad showing me Star Wars and being like, ‘Yo, this is Lando’, and he feels pulpy. You know the whole Skywalker family, you can’t really fuck with the canon, but you can have a pulpy, kind of shitty Lando novel that feels like it’s outside the Star Wars universe and still in it, which is why I think people like him. He’s the most elastic of the characters because you don’t know where he’s from or who he is or whatever, there’s only like those three little books. It was dope to play him. It was really fun.”
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