Lando Calrissian is a Grade-A Cool Guy, and that's an interesting problem for Donald Glover as he prepares to play him in the upcoming Han Solo movie. Despite idolizing the scoundrel-turned-Rebel-hero in his youth, Glover knows he can't just mimic Billy Dee Williams' memorable performance.
"I remember Lando really well," Glover said in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter. "He was like the only black guy in space. And he was the cool one. I just realized, he still has to be cool. And cool is an interesting thing. It changes.
"I was watching Black Mirror, and there's an episode where they go through time and in the '50s, there's a nerd, and by the time he gets to the 2000s, he's just a hipster. He's not a nerd anymore. Cool changes depending on the perspective. Also, it's fun because [the Han Solo movie is set] before [Empire Strikes Back], so he's still figuring it out a little bit."
I have no idea what Black Mirror episode Glover's talking about there (maybe he got to watch season 4 early or is just mistaken - Update: the consensus from my Twitter replies is that he means the guy in the arcade from season 3's San Junipero, thanks!) but the rest checks out: a bunch of things were cool in 1980 that are less so now - shoulder pads, for example. So if Lando's going to be the same smooth operator we knew from the original trilogy in this prequel film, he'll have to change with the times - and maybe be a little bit less cool, just so it's clear how far he's come. Fortunately for Star Wars fans, Donald Glover's given us plenty of reason to be confident with his judgement on these matters.
Directed by Phil Lord and Christopher Miller, and starring Alden Ehrenreich, Donald Glover, and Emilia Clarke the Han Solo movie is due to be released on May 25, 2018.
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Images: Lucasfilm, NBC