Star Wars: Donald Glover Explains His Approach To Playing Lando

Billy Dee Williams as Lando Calrissian

With all of the excitement surrounding today's release of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, it's easy to forget that each year will bring us a new film in the franchise. Next year's holiday season will continue the Skywalker Saga with Episode VIII, and 2018 will give us our second anthology film. While the movie is still untitled, it will center around a young Han Solo and his smuggling companion Chewbacca, and is set to start filming in February of next year. Said to have a tone similar to a Western or a heist film, the movie is rumored to feature appearances by some of the galaxy's most notorious bounty hunters.

What we do know is that Alden Ehrenreich will play the somewhat younger version of the fan-favorite character, with Game of Thrones star Emilia Clarke playing an unknown part. Rounding out the cast so far is Donald Glover, the man who almost played Peter Parker but will instead have a small role in Spider-Man: Homecoming. In the Han Solo film, however, he'll be portraying a more youthful Lando Calrissian, Han's favorite frenemy and cape-wearer extraordinaire.

Tackling such an iconic role is no small feat, though, which is something Iron Man and Jungle Book director Jon Favreau asked Glover about during a recent interview set up by Hollywood Reporter. Turns out, Glover has some fond memories of the smuggler from his childhood.

"It was the first action figure I ever had. I remember my dad giving it to me...I remember Lando really well. He was like the only black guy in space. And he was the cool one. I just realized, he still has to be cool. And cool is an interesting thing. It changes."

Given that the new film will be directed by Chris Miller & Phil Lord, the team behind the Jump Street franchise and The LEGO Movie, the movie is bound to be plenty cool. It's going to be written by veteran Star Wars writer Lawrence Kasdan and his son, ensuring the film will stay true to the version of Lando first seen in Empire Strikes Back. That said, the film will delve into both Lando and Han's early lives, so there's bound to be some changes. Glover went on to talk about how, in the decades since the character was first introduced, the perception of "cool" has gone through a lot of changes.

"I was watching Black Mirror, and there's an episode where they go through time and in the '50s, there's a nerd, and by the time he gets to the 2000s, he's just a hipster. He's not a nerd anymore. Cool changes depending on the perspective. Also, it's fun because [the Han Solo movie is set] before [Empire Strikes Back], so he's still figuring it out a little bit, which is fun."

Without giving anything away, Rogue One has already shown that the new Lucasfilm story group has a better handle on how to integrate classic characters from the franchise into prequels in a way that Episodes I-III could never quite manage. The Han Solo, er, solo film will be the true test of whether a batch of well-known players from the original franchise can have their roles recast and their early days examined and still hold up to scrutiny. Make sure to check out the full interview, as Favreau, Glover, Lin-Manuel Miranda, and a few other rising stars all have a very lengthy roundtable discussion about their craft. While we await more news about the Han Solo film, keep your eyes on the site for all things Star Wars.

Source: Hollywood Reporter

Key Release Dates
  • Star Wars: Rogue One / Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (2016) release date: Dec 16, 2016
  • Star Wars 8/Star Wars: The Last Jedi (2017) release date: Dec 15, 2017
  • Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018) release date: May 25, 2018
  • Star Wars 9 / Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (2019) release date: Dec 20, 2019
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