We’ve heard next to nothing about Lucasfilm’s Lando series since it was announced three years ago, but according to Above the Line, there have been some intriguing developments behind the scenes. Initially, Haunted Mansion director Justin Simien was attached to head the project, but a new report suggests that he was replaced last summer by the writing duo Donald and Stephen Glover — the former of whom will also star as the title character.
As the report notes, Lucasfilm never announced if the Star Wars “event series” would feature Donald Glover or Billy Dee Williams. This move would seemingly indicate that Donald Glover’s character from Solo: A Star Wars Story will be the focus of the series.
ATL’s report was published on the same day as an interview between The Hollywood Reporter and Justin Simien, in which the director was asked about Lando. His answer was anything but direct, which would make sense if Above the Line’s report is accurate:
I am attached, I think, but I don’t really know. (Laughs.) The last thing I was told was that they loved it but needed to put a pin in it until they could figure out everybody’s availability. I haven’t investigated further, but I’m not an idiot. I’m not alone in that experience. But I can’t help but wonder, “Am I too Black? Am I too queer? And people just don’t want to say that?” Because it seems like I develop things with these companies and they just never happen for reasons unknown.
Simien reportedly left the project in the summer of 2022 in order to focus on Haunted Mansion, which hits theaters this weekend. Lucasfilm didn’t want to wait around, so the studio reached out to Donald Glover to gauge his interest in taking over for Simien. Donald and his brother, who had collaborated on Atlanta and Guava Island, agreed to take the job together, and their plans for the show apparently have Lucasfilm executives excited.
This revelation would also explain Glover’s careful answer to a question from GQ in April:
I would love to play Lando again. It’s a fun time, to be him. It just has to be the right way to do it. […] I’m not interested in doing anything that’s just gonna be a waste of my time or just a paycheck. I’d much rather spend time with people that I enjoy. It just has to be the right thing, which I think it could be. Lando is definitely somebody I’d like to hang out with.
Finally, the report notes that the Glovers haven’t done any work on the project since the WGA strike began on May 2, which isn’t especially surprising.
Atlanta is without question one of the most exciting shows of the last decade, which is a testament to both Donald Glover’s abilities as an actor and the writing talents of Donald and Stephen as a team. Given the overwhelming critical acclaim Andor received after Lucasfilm and Disney handed the reigns to another brilliant creative mind in Tony Gilroy, this is exactly the kind of move I hoped the studio would make next. I just hope it really happens.