Star Wars Exec Reveals Why Donald Glover's Lando Show Is at a Standstill

By Sam Hargrave Posted:

Lucasfilm is hard at work on a number of Disney+ series taking place across the timeline of the Star Wars saga, with a number happening in the post-original trilogy timeline of The Mandalorian. Over the years, among the most intriguing eras for many has been the time between the prequel and original trilogies, and Disney has demonstrated a similar interest in the dark times after Order 66. The first Star Wars spin-offs from Disney took place during that time with Rogue One and Solo, and will revisit it again in Obi-Wan Kenobi.

Solo: A Star Wars Story delivered the first peek at pre-original trilogy versions of Han Solo, Chewbacca, and Lando Calrissian, but unlike the current Disney+ series, that was achieved through a recast with younger actors, as opposed to CGI de-aging. The recast, combined with Billy Dee Williams' return as Lando in The Rise of Skywalker, means two actors have played the scoundrel for Disney.

In 2020, Disney thrilled fans of Lando Calrissian as Kathleen Kennedy announced Lando, an event series from Dear White People creator Justin Simien. Up until now, Lucasfilm has remained hesitant to reveal whether Billy Dee Williams or Donald Glover will tackle the role, despite the latter strongly hinting at his involvement, but that has finally become clear with a new update.

Lando Series Receives First Official Update

Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy spoke to CinemaBlend at Star Wars Celebration to offer an update on the Lando Disney+ series.

Kennedy confirmed there had been "no movement" on the production, before going on to blame the busy schedule of Solo's Lando Calrissian actor Donald Glover for the hold-up:

"You need to ask Donald [Glover]. He's the one that holds all the cards here. But there's no movement. I will say that honestly. But it's not for lack of trying. It's just that he's a very busy guy. ... He's got another series, and I think one other thing, and then he'll come our way. So patiently waiting."

The blame falling at the foot of Glover serves as the first official confirmation from Lucasfilm that the Solo star will be back for the series, as opposed to original trilogy actor Billy Dee Williams. This is also the first update to be offered since the event series was announced at Disney Investor Day 2020.

When Will Lando Premiere on Disney+?

Donald Glover taking the lead in Lando appears to confirm the series will take place between Revenge of the Sith and A New Hope. Fans of the original Lando may be disappointed to hear Billy Dee Williams won't be back, especially since that continues to leave the time after The Rise of Skywalker unexplored. 

The adventures of an older Calrissian may have had strong potential on Disney+, especially after a recent book detailed Luke and Lando's trip to Exegol before the sequel trilogyThe Rise of Skywalker even set the stage for more travels with Lando as he jetted off into space with Naomi Ackie's Jannah, who was heavily suggested to be his daughter.

Lucasfilm may have opted to pursue Glover's younger Lando for several reasons, firstly due to Williams' older age, but also due to the opportunity to follow the events of Solo. Although the Star Wars spin-off may not have had the most stellar critical or box office performance, many would jump at the chance to see those characters return in another form

Alden Ehrenreich's Han Solo and Emilia Clarke's Qi'ra could both easily slot into the series, thereby allowing the studio to follow up on the Crimson Dawn cliffhanger of Solo and explore more of Lando's early adventures with the man who made the Kessel Run in less than 12 parsecs.

Donald Glover is currently hard at work on the fourth and final season of his hit show Atlanta, while also entering pre-production on Mr. and Mrs. Smith. The actor is also working on new music under the name Childish Gambino, making for a packed schedule with no imminent space for Lando.

If the Disney+ event series does ever see the light of day, the odds are slim that it will arrive anytime before 2024, unless of course, there are any surprise changes in Glover's schedule. 

- 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.