Donald Glover is stepping into Billy Dee Williams’ shoes as Lando Calrissian for the untitled Han Solo Star Wars spin-off, who he believes to be more complicated than the titular character. Glover has continued to become more of a recognizable name in Hollywood over the past year or so. Atlanta was critically well-received and won multiple awards along the way, plus he is set to appear in Spider-Man: Homecoming next month, play Simba in the live-action The Lion King, and is leading an animated Deadpool show in the future.
However, the biggest role that he has landed during this time has been that of Lando Calrissian. He is officially within the Star Wars universe and previously said he couldn’t say no to playing the fan-favorite character. That decision has turned out to be for the best with Glover saying this has been one of his favorite experiences in his entire life.
Deadline spoke to Glover about his career and was sure to ask him about how much he is currently enjoying working on Han Solo. After spending a lot of time writing his own stuff on Atlanta, Glover enjoyed being part of a larger production where he could focus on being the best Lando he can be and it sounds like it has worked out pretty well so far.
This is probably one of my favorite experiences ever. For working under, like, a huge conglomerate, it’s actually been quite an enjoyable, artistic thing. I get to play him in a way that I think is honest and true and cool. And it’s great ’cause I didn’t have to write anything, I’m focused strictly on being this guy. And I really respect him and I respect the actor who played him before. I’ve learned a lot about this character, so it’s actually been really fulfilling and nice to just turn off everything else and focus on just being someone. So it’s been cool.
Even though Glover doesn’t have quite the amount of pressure that his co-star Alden Ehrenreich has to replicate the charm and performance of another iconic Star Wars figure, Lando is a fan-favorite for a reason. Thankfully, he is not letting the pressure of living up to Williams’ performance get to him and is embracing the challenge to bring the complicated character to life.
Lando seems to be a lot of people’s favorite character. It’s cool. It’s a lot of pressure, but it’s also very exciting. He was my favorite character too. I grew up on Star Wars. It’s just cool to see him again. I feel like people like him ’cause he has a lot of style, but also he’s a complicated character in this world. I think even Han isn’t as complicated as Lando is. From the first time you meet him, you don’t know whether to trust him or not, and you’re constantly not knowing whether to trust him. I like that about him.
This will first and foremost be Han Solo’s movie, clearly, but Lando is expected to have a sizable role as well and thus give Glover plenty of time to play him. Since audiences are already familiar with Lando and how untrustworthy he can be, it could be quite interesting to see Han Solo explore this as well. With the plot being kept under wraps as of this time, how exactly Lando factors into this Han Solo “origin story” remains to be seen, but that does not mean fans aren’t already expecting certain moments of their friendship to be shown.
Many are hoping to see the famous game of sabaac between Han and Lando play out in the film to show the actual instance of Han claiming ownership of the Millennium Falcon. Scenes such as this, and many more, are sure to be included in the film and add more backstory to their relationship – which will hopefully only enrich their further meeting in Empire Strikes Back. This is why it is important for Glover to make his Lando feel, look, and sound like Williams’, and that appears to be the case.