Donald Glover will play young Lando Calrissian in the new Han Solo movie: Can he pull it off?

It’s Official: Lando Calrissian Will Be Played by Donald Glover in the New Han Solo Movie

It’s Official: Lando Calrissian Will Be Played by Donald Glover in the New Han Solo Movie

Brow Beat
Slate's Culture Blog
Oct. 21 2016 6:36 PM

Donald Glover Will Officially Play Lando Calrissian in the New Han Solo Movie

Donald Glover
But is this “black nerd” the right choice to play the smooth-talking rogue?

Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images

It’s official: After several months of rumors, Donald Glover has joined the Star Wars universe and will play a young Lando Calrissian in the upcoming new Han Solo stand-alone series.

It’s a curious casting choice, considering that the self-proclaimed “black nerd,” who tends to portray similarly nerdy characters on screen, feels pretty far removed from the smooth-talking rogue portrayed by heartthrob Billy Dee Williams in the original films. (Not that it would be the first time he’s set out to join an action film: Glover once publicly campaigned to play the similarly nerdy Peter Parker aka Spider-Man in the newest films.)

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But actors deserve the chance to stretch their wings—or X-Wings, in this case—and there’s a chance that writer-directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller (21 Jump Street, The Lego Movie) want to go in a more comedic direction with the new film. Indeed, Han Solo himself will be played by Alden Ehrenreich, who showcased his own comedic chops in his breakout role in Hail, Caesar! Or perhaps young Lando was actually a late bloomer and only evolved into the rapscallion we all know and love in his later years. We shall see!

The so far untitled new movie is set to come out in 2018.

Aisha Harris is a Slate culture writer and host of the Slate podcast Represent.