With Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, Disney and Lucasfilm have proven that there's an audience for Star Wars films that go back in time and explore events that took place between the prequel movie trilogy and Episode IV - A New Hope. Rogue One did that with a story that features mostly brand-new characters, but in the future Disney will be trying a similar approach with characters who are already familiar. Case in point: the next of what could be many anthology movies focuses on young Han Solo and his exploits, long before he hooked up with Luke and Ben at Mos Eisley on Tatooine.
As we already knew from The Empire Strikes Back, Lando Calrissian is a big part of Han Solo's pre-New Hope existence. Casting Young Lando was key for Disney and Lucasfilm, and most agree they hit a home run by setting Donald Glover to take on the role originated by Billy Dee Williams. Glover is deep into preparation for the film but with shooting now officially underway, the actor apparently has yet to come into possession of a key item: the film's screenplay.
Glover talked to SciFi Now Magazine (via StarWarsNews.net) about the secrecy surrounding the young Han Solo movie and how because of that policy, he still hasn't seen Lawrence and Jon Kasdan's script for the movie. Glover said:
"It’s like an owl flies through your window and gives you a script; that’s how quiet and confidential it is."
Han Solo co-director Chris Miller has confirmed that the movie is now in production, under the interesting working title "Red Cup." At some point in the near future, Glover will show up for work to play Lando and he will at least have read his own scenes. The secrecy around these Star Wars movies may seem ridiculous but of course, it's a necessary evil if you want to avoid plot detail leaks/spoilers.
It remains to be seen what Donald Glover's take on Lando will be, but whatever the actor does with the role, he'll be doing it with Billy Dee Williams' original performance respectfully in mind. Glover has acknowledged the responsibility he's taking on by tackling such an iconic role, played by such an iconic performer. And if he ever forgets, his mother will be there to remind him. As Glover told SciFi Now:
"I called my mum and my dad when I heard I’d won the role, and she said to me, ‘Don’t mess this up. This is Billy Dee Williams, and he is really cool.’ I take it very seriously."
Whatever happens with Han Solo, we know for certain that everyone involved is taking their jobs seriously and trying their best to honor the people who came before them. Hopes are high that this take on the exploits of Star Wars' most roguish and cool heroes, Han and Lando, will not only satisfy fans but help open the door on a bunch more anthology films. As for "Red Cup" itself: the Han Solo Star Wars Anthology Film is currently slated to arrive in May of next year, but that may change.
- 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