Donald Glover seems like absolutely perfect casting for a young version of Star Wars’ space scoundrel Lando Calrissian in the Han Solo movie, but when stepping into an iconic role like that, I imagine it might ease the crushing amount of pressure to speak with the man who originated the part. Just the other day, in Los Angeles, and spoke with Williams about what the once and future Landos talked about during that meal.
He confirmed the basic story premise of the Han Solo spin-off (“this one is about how [Han and Lando] established our relationship and the question of the Millennium Falcon”), referred to Glover as “a very delightful young man,” and explained that they talked for a long time about the character:
“I guess he was doing what normal actors do, they just want to find out what direction they want to take so they gather their information. So, we just sat and talked, and I didn’t want to impose on anything he wanted to do — he’s got his own ideas, I would imagine. I know he has his own ideas. He’s a very talented young man… I think he basically just wanted to see me, meet me, get to know me a little bit and probably figure out a way to use me in developing his character.”
Williams also shouted out Glover’s eclectic tastes as an artist, which he sees as “really important particularly for the character of Lando.” He also “got the sense of [Glover] being a worldly person”, which I imagine would be a key quality for a character who travels across multiple worlds in a galaxy far, far away.
While Williams was willing to pass on some sage advice to his younger counterpart, it sounds like he isn’t ready to fully let go of the Lando legacy quite yet.
“Lando has been very much a part of my life for over 30 years. When I go out and do conventions and stuff like that, even though people know me from all the other things that I’ve done, certainly [Lando] takes precedence. I just never thought of anybody else being Lando. I just see myself as Lando… eventually something else has to happen with it. But I’m not saying goodbye to that character. It’s still very much a part of my life. I created that character.”
Directed by Phil Lord and Chris Miller and starring Alden Ehrenreich, Donald Glover, Woody Harrelson, and Emilia Clarke, the as-yet-untitled Young Han Solo spin-off is scheduled to be released on May 25, 2018.