Justin Simien Bringing Lando Calrissian Limited Series To Disney Plus
One of the Star Wars saga’s most beloved characters is getting his own spinoff show on Disney Plus. As relayed by Variety‘s Joe Otterson on Thursday, a limited-run series about smuggler, gambler and Rebel Alliance general Lando Calrissian is currently in early development for the streaming service.
The project was announced by Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy during the Disney Investor Day presentation.
Lando’s first appearance in the Star Wars film universe came in The Empire Strikes Back in 1980, when he was portrayed by Billy Dee Williams. In the picture, the iconic character was depicted as the administrator of the Cloud City on Bespin and a longtime friend of Han Solo. The actor reprised the role in 1983’s Return of the Jedi, then made a third appearance in The Rise of Skywalker — the ninth and final episode of the mainline Star Wars series or “Skywalker saga” — in 2019.
A younger version of the character was played by comedian/musician Donald Glover in Solo: A Star Wars Story in 2018. That film attempted to enrich the backstory of its titular hero and chronicled the first meeting between him and Lando. It also explained how Solo had come to possess the Millennium Falcon star freighter, which Lando had referred to as his former property during the original trilogy.
At this juncture, it is unknown whether Glover or Williams will be involved with the show in any capacity, or whether it will be live-action or animated. However, it has been revealed that filmmaker Justin Simien will be helming the project.
Simien, 37, gained notoriety in 2014 for writing, directing and co-producing the indie hit Dear White People, which told the story of several black students at a fictional Ivy League college experiencing escalating racial tensions. The movie — which starred Tyler James Williams, Tessa Thompson, Kyle Gallner and Brandon P. Bell — won the 2015 Independent Spirit Award for its screenplay. It was nominated in the Best Feature category as well.
It also spawned the Netflix series of the same name, which was similarly helmed by Simien.
Several other Star Wars-related reveals were made by Kennedy as part of the presentation. Most notably, spinoffs of The Mandalorian centered on Ahsoka Tano and the “Rangers of the New Republic” are officially forthcoming. In addition, Hayden Christensen is set to reprise the role of Darth Vader in the previously announced Obi-Wan Kenobi project.
This information comes shortly after the news broke that the actor who originated the physical role of Darth Vader — David Prowse — had passed away.