On Thursday fans discovered that writers of Atlanta, Donald and Stephen Glover, were taking over writing duties on the long awaited Lando series being made for Disney+ as per various reports. It also seems as if the original writer of the series discovered this news, and that he was off of the project, the same time that we did.
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On Thursday it was exclusively reported by Above the Line that Donald Glover, who played Lando Calrissian in Solo: A Star Wars Story, and his brother, Stephen Glover, who co-wrote the critically Atlanta with Donald, had taken over writing duties of the Lando series announced in 2020 and that the original writer, Justin Simien, had been shown the exit ahead of the release of Simien’s latest project, Haunted Mansion. The report mentioned that the Glovers had been working on the series for quite some time, but put pencils down once the Writers Guild of America began their strike in May. However it seems that Simien was one of the last people to discover that he was off the series and discovered this development the same time we did.
The Haunted Mansion writer-director took to his Instagram stories on Thursday where he shared a Variety article which was reporting that Atlanta scribes Donald and Stephen Glover were taking over writing duties on Lando as Simien was shown the exit door. Alongside the article, Simien simply writes, “This is me finding out rn [right now].”
In the initial report from Above the Line, it was mentioned that Justin Simien had been off of the Lando series since last summer when he bowed out to focus on production and post production of Haunted Mansion. Author of the report, Jeff Sneider, took to his podcast, The Hot Mic, to expand on his report, where he mentioned that Simien’s Haunted Mansion did not have a smooth production, with the third act having heavy reshoots, and with Simien not being well versed in productions with a heavy use of CGI, post production on the flick took longer to complete. Above the Line reported that it was Simien’s commitment to Haunted Mansion that led him to amicably bow out of Lando as Lucasfilm, who were eager to continue development, reached out to Donald and Stephen Glover, who stepped on as writers and have been penning the project for quite some time.
Simien has been headlines in recent weeks, as he revealed to various outlets that he had not heard any update on the Lando series since it’s announcement in December of 2020, adding that development had been paused shortly before the announcement as Lucasfilm worked to figure out the scheduling of those set to be involved. Simien added in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter that he wonders if projects he’s attached to don’t come to fruition because of his race and sexuality. Above the Line’s Jeff Sneider added during his podcast on Thursday that he believed Simien was “toeing the company line” and was not looking to make headlines in regards to being off of the Lando series ahead of the release of Haunted Mansion, which released this weekend and is expected to earn around $30M domestically and scored a mere 41% on Rotten Tomatoes.
Simien’s comments to various outlets and his initial Instagram post comes across like a man being honest to me. Perhaps there’s more to the story than what’s already been written. But despite the shock of discovering he’s off of the Lando series and replaced by the Glover brothers, Simien holds no ill-will towards Donald and Stephen, as Simien followed up his initial story with, “Donald is a National treasure. Glad he and Stephen get to carry the character forward their way. Can’t wait to see. Rooting for everybody Black.”
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