Donald Glover Makes Star Wars History on New Disney+ Show

By Sam Hargrave Updated:
Donald Glover Lando

Donald Glover will reportedly take up a historic role in his upcoming Star Wars Disney+ series Lando.

LucasFilm President Kathleen Kennedy announced the development of Lando in December 2020 as a "brand-new event series" for Disney+, seemingly set to see the return of Donald Glover as the titular Star Wars icon.

Kennedy revealed in May 2022 that there had been "no movement" on the project due to Glover's busy schedule. The Lucasfilm exec reaffirmed the series is "still happening" in an interview with IGN at this April's Star Wars Celebration, adding that the actor is "very excited about it."

Donald Glover Takes New Role in Disney+'s Lando Development

Donald Glover Disney Plus
Star Wars

Variety reported that Dear White People creator Justin Simien - who was revealed to be developing Lando at the time of its announcement - has exited the project.

The series will now be written by brothers Donald and Stephen Glover, who worked on the hit series Atlanta together, with their deal to write Lando reportedly reached before the start of the writers' strike on May 2.

Donald Glover will officially make history with the upcoming Lando Disney+ series as he will mark the first person to write a Star Wars project they will also star in.

Lando will see Glover reprise his role as the young Lando Calrissian - played in the original and sequel trilogy by Billy Dee Williams - following his debut as the galactic scoundrel in 2018's Solo: A Star Wars Story.

According to Deadline, Simien exited the project last year ahead of the Glover brothers boarding Lando for writing duties at some point before May 2. 

The Direct recently asked Simien about Lando prior to this news during the press circuit for his latest directorial outing, Haunted Mansion. The writer stated he "poured [his] heart" into the series and "everybody [loved] it," before noting the scheduling difficulties and how he hadn't received an update since 2020:

"I certainly poured my heart and spent a lot of time working with them to put together a really great show. It feels like everybody loves it. And, you know, I was told we had to put a pause on it because of scheduling, and the next update I got [was in 2020], some years ago. So I don't know, I have no idea what's going on with it.

When Will Lando Actually Release on Disney+?

Disney+'s Lando doesn't appear to have made any real progress in the almost three years since it was announced, seemingly due to Glover's busy schedule. But that all appears set to change as the Glover brothers' new writer signing points to a newfound commitment to the project, following the recent end of Atlanta.

However, as the Writer's Guild of America (WGA) strike continues with no sign of reaching an end anytime soon, development remains at a standstill for Lando, just as it does for many other Star Wars, Marvel, and Disney+ series.

Glover doesn't appear to have much on the horizon right now aside from his return as Troy Barnes in the Community movie, which will shoot next summer. The actor will also write and star in a spy comedy series based on the 2005 movie Mr. & Mrs. Smith for Amazon, but that appears to have wrapped filming already.

So, once the strike ends and Glover can get back to work on writing and starring in projects, Lando may well fall rather high on his priority list. Hopefully, the show will now have the momentum it needs to get the ball rolling toward production.

With regard to when Lando will premiere on Disney+, that may still be some time away as the Glovers probably haven't had a chance to start writing yet. But depending on how quickly the script moves along, Lando may be able to start filming as soon as next year, possibly in time to release in 2025 or 2026.

Granted, that may be a rather optimistic estimate, but Lucasfilm will undoubtedly be hoping to get the ball rolling soon as it currently has no live-action Star Wars content lined up to release on Disney+ in 2025, aside from perhaps The Mandalorian Season 4, which ought to be ready to go by then.

Lando has yet to set a release date.

- About The Author: Sam Hargrave
Sam Hargrave is the Associate Editor at The Direct. He joined the team as a gaming writer in 2020 before later expanding into writing for all areas of The Direct and taking on further responsibilities such as editorial tasks and image creation.