It’s been close to three years since the Lando series was first announced, but there’s been no real updates on the project since. Writer of Lando, Justin Simien, has now provided an update.
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Justin Simien, the writer of Lando, who’s probably best known for writing Netflix’s Dear White People and directed Disney’s Haunted Mansion starring Rosario Dawson, which releases tomorrow, has spoken with The Hollywood Reporter regarding various topics and the trade asked the writer-director about the Lando series which was announced back in 2020. The conversation with THR comes ten days after Simien told The Direct that he had not heard an update from Lucasfilm regarding the Lando series since it was announced in December 2020 during Disney’s Investors Day, but was told that development was paused before the series was even announced.
Simien was very open during his conversation with THR when asked about the Lando project, with the writer telling the outlet that he believes he’s still onboard to write Lando, but that he didn’t “really know”, but that Lucasfilm told him that they loved what he had done. Simien once again reiterated that development was paused on the series so that Lucasfilm could figure out everybody involved availability. Simien adds that since the announcement and development being paused, he has not investigated the situation further. However Simien, a gay man of colour, questioned projects he’s worked on with big studios not coming to fruition due to the colour of his skin and his sexuality. He said the following to THR:
“I am attached, I think, but I don’t really know. (Laughs.) The last thing I was told was that they [Lucasfilm] loved it but needed to put a pin in it until they could figure out everybody’s availability. I haven’t investigated further, but I’m not an idiot. I’m not alone in that experience. But I can’t help but wonder, “Am I too Black? Am I too queer? And people just don’t want to say that?” Because it seems like I develop things with these companies and they just never happen for reasons unknown.” – Justin Simien via The Hollywood Reporter
Simien mentioned that he was previously told that Lucasfilm were pausing development on the Lando series in an attempt to figure out the availability of those involved with the project. Noticeably when the series was announced in 2020, it only came with Simien’s name attached, which surprised many as fans expected to see the name of Donald Glover attached in addition due to his appearance as Lando Calrissian in 2018’s Solo: A Star Wars Story. Glover didn’t confirm his involvement with Lando until 2021 during an interview with Jimmy Kimmel. In 2022, Lucasfilm president, Kathleen Kennedy, revealed to CinemaBlend that there hadn’t been any movement on the Lando series due to Donald Glover’s schedule and that Glover held all the cards.
Since the series was announced in 2020, Glover has written a third and forth season of his critically acclaimed FX series, Atlanta. Glover spent most of 2021 and the early part of 2022 filming those seasons before they began releasing in later in 2022. Glover signed an overall deal with Amazon Prime Video and the first project to come from that deal, Swarm, was written and directed by Glover and released earlier this year. Glover’s next Prime Video series, Mr and Mrs. Smith, was written by the Solo star and shot last year, with Amazon confirming the series is due to release in November. In addition, Glover is star in the Community movie which will shoot next year, along with Sony’s Hypno Hustler.
It’s evident that Donald Glover has had a busy few years and has a couple more in front of him. Clearly Glover’s schedule has had a humongous impact on the development on the Lando series, and Lucasfilm have unfairly left Simien in the dark when it comes to giving him updates on the project. However Glover still seemed open to starring in the Lando project earlier this year during an interview with GQ. The This is America hitmaker told the outlet that he’s more precious with his time and what projects he takes following the COVID-19 pandemic, which revealed to him just how valuable his time is. Glover added that he only wants to work on projects that don’t feel like a waste of his time and that they’re with people he enjoys working with before adding that Lando could be one of those projects and that he has had conversations with Kathleen Kennedy about the series.
Kennedy told IGN in April that the Lando series was definitely still happening…she might want to let Simien know.
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