By Chris Campo
The Star Wars Cinematic universe - or whatever we're calling it - is extending past the Skywalker Saga with its anthology films, whether you like it or not. The first, Rouge One, hits cinemas this December. The only other confirmed anthology film is the yet-to-be-titled Han Solo film. The film will follow Han in his earlier years and will be portrayed by Alden Ehrenreich. Reports broke not to long ago that the film is currently underway in casting a young Lando Calrissian, a fan favorite from the original Star Wars trilogy, portrayed ever so perfectly by Billy Dee Williams. How does Disney/Lucasfilm even begin to cast such an iconic character you might ask? Apparently, Donald Glover (Community, The Martian) is their first choice. Glover is also my first choice but before we discuss his potential casting, I want to look at other possibilities.
Michael B. Jordan (Creed, Chronicle) is an incredible actor. No doubt. I have seen countless tweets and videos where his name is on the top of the list to play Lando. Personally, I don't see it. And I mean that literally... I just don't SEE it. Jordan has the charm, and the chops but he does not resemble Billy Dee Williams in the slightest. Another name to throw in would be Nate Parker (Non-Stop, The Birth of a Nation). I'm not too familiar with this actor, but from what I have seen him in, he is pretty good. Also, I could totally see him in the Lando get up any day of the week. Again, I am too unfamiliar with his acting style to be confident he can deliver a convincing Lando. Real quick, I also want to get Jacob Anderson (Game of Thrones) in the conversation. Now, I am completely unfamiliar with this actor's work, but just from the pictures I've seen, I'm sure he could pull off the look.
Personally, my second choice to play Lando Calrissian is Shameik Moore (Dope, The Get Down). If you have not seen Dope... Close this page and watch it. Now. Dope is a great film and the best thing about it was the wonderful new faces it introduced, like Moore. Shameik Moore delivers a fun performance, he has great timing and tonnes of energy and just comes off as damn likable. It would be cool to see the Han Solo film have relatively fresh faces in it too, like the main cast of The Force Awakens with Daisy Ridley and John Boyega. I want Moore's career to take off and what better way to take off than in the Millennium Falcon. One of the funniest jokes in Dope is actually a joke about Donald Gover. Hey! Speaking of Donald Glover...
...He is my absolute first choice to play Lando Calrissian. As I mentioned, the Comedian/Actor/Musician is the rumored first choice for the studio and it makes perfect sense. I mean, have you seen that photo of him dressed as Lando? Donald Glover has proven he has every skill and feature that Billy Dee Williams brought to the original role. Humor? Watch Glover in the amazing show Community or his stand up special Weirdo. Sex appeal and a suave nature? Check out Glover's performance in Magic Mike XXL. What about the nerdy technobabble? He already co-starred in a wonderful science fiction film with The Martian. Glover has also proved that he has a strong appreciation for nerd culture, just listen to any of his raps and try to catch every geeky or obscure reference. Funny enough, on a side note, early in his career, Glover even voiced Star Wars character Mace Windu for Robot Chicken's Star Wars parody episodes.
While that's why I think he should be cast, here's why I think he probably will be. For starters, Glover is already part of the Disney family. He has a unknown role in the Marvel film Spider-Man Homecoming. He also voiced Miles Morales in Disney XD's Ultimate Spider-Man series, so in one way or another, the mouse house is familiar with his work. Glover's early comedic career is probably a big plus for the writers/directors of the Han Solo film, Phil Lord and Chris Miller, as they are responsible for some very funny work. Also, while promoting his new television show, Atlanta, Glover opened up to Time Magazine about the casting rumors. "There are Rumors," Glover said, before going on to totally dodge speaking about the role and spoke on how he loves Star Wars. "It's like the Bible." If there's one thing someone secretly cast in a Disney production knows what to do, it's to dodge questions and keep your mouth shut. Now, obviously this doesn't confirm anything, but I think that the vague nature of his answer is definitely suspicious.
So there's my opinion on the future casting for Lando Calrissian. I hope at the very least one of the names I mentioned gets cast, obviously my money will forever be on Donald Glover. But if he doesn't land the role, there are still so many talented young black actors working today that would be great to see land the role. Who do you want to see as Lando? Let us know!