Donald Glover has a series to put his eclectic stamp on now that Atlanta has wrapped. He and his brother Stephen are penning the Lando series for Disney+ in a deal brokered before the strike. Glover has already played Lando Calrissian, in the role originated by Billy Dee Williams in The Empire Strikes Back in 1980. Glover played Lando in Solo: A Star Wars Story in 2018.
Dear White People creator and Haunted Mansion director Justin Simien was originally attached to the project but told The Hollywood Reporter last week that he was off the project, he said because maybe he was too “Black and too queer” for it.
“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,” Simien told THR. “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.”
However, Above the Line, which first reported the Glovers were in, says that their sources say Simien pulled out of the Lando project last year to focus on Haunted Mansion.
It will be some time before the Glovers go to work on Lando as it’s currently on hold due to the combined Writers Guild of America and Screen Actors Guild strikes. The two guilds and the studios remain far apart, so much so that the upcoming Emmys, set for Sept. 18, have been postponed to a later date.
Glover’s Swarm was nominated for three Emmys, including for a writing award he shared with co-creator Janine Nabers as well as for lead actress Dominique Fishback.
Donald told GQ earlier this year that he was looking forward to reprising his role as Lando if the right project came along. Though his performance was praised, the Ron Howard film wasn’t as successful as other films in the ever-expanding Star Wars universe. Disney+ apparently now believes it’s better as a series.
“I would love to play Lando again,” Glover told the men’s outlet. “It’s a fun time, being him. It just has to be the right way to do it. Time is precious. The past couple of years, this pandemic shit, it really had people experience time… People realize their time is valuable. You only get so much. I’m not interested in doing anything that’s going to be a waste of my time or just a paycheck. I’d much rather spend time with people that I enjoy.”
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