Williams originated the iconic role of Lando Calrissian in the original “Star Wars” trilogy, most recently portrayed by Donald Glover in “Solo: A Star Wars Story.”
Move over Donald Glover, the original Lando Calrissian is back in business. According to a new report, Billy Dee Williams has agreed to put back on the cape and that disarming smile to woo the galaxy one more time for "Star Wars: Episode IX."
Even more exciting, this casting news isn’t breaking the internet in all the wrong ways the way more recent castings of John Boyega, Daisy Ridley, Felicity Jones and Kelly Marie Tran did. Apparently, even the most toxic of fanboys are okay with some diversity in their galaxy far, far away, just so long as it stems from the high holy original trilogy.
It’ll be the third theatrical outing for Williams, who originated the portrayal in "The Empire Strikes Back," returning to wrap up the original trilogy in "Return of the Jedi." The 81-year-old actor has gone on to reprise the character for several "Star Wars" video games and a story arc in the recent "Star Wars: Rebels" animated series and several "LEGO Star Wars" specials.
Speculation has run rampant for a while now that Williams might reprise his most iconic role, and especially after the passing of Carrie Fisher in real life and Han Solo and Luke Skywalker on-screen left the final chapter in sequel trilogy without anyone to represent the original cast. Speculation had been that he might appear in "Episode VIII," but that turned into a Luke-centric story, with Mark Hamill returning.
Williams recently turned down an upcoming convention appearance due to a movie conflict, causing speculation to flare up again. According to The Hollywood Reporter, that conflict is indeed the upcoming continuation of the saga begun a long time ago by George Lucas in 1977.
The character of Lando Calrissian has been enjoying a high already in 2018, with Donald Glover’s portrayal of him seen by many as the highlight of Lucasfilm’s mildly disappointing "Solo: A Star Wars Story." While the film disappointed by "Star Wars" lofty box office expectations, it did score more than $375 million at the box office. And while there may be no "Solo II" in the future, story threads could easily be picked up in a solo "Lando" film.
For now, fans are looking forward to the original swashbuckling hero returning to action to teach the new kids in the galaxy what it is to be cool. Below are some of their most enthusiastic responses:
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