‘Star Wars’ Han Solo Movie: 6 Actors Who Could Play Young Lando
When Disney bought Lucasfilm and announced that its plans for Star Wars would include a series of standalone films, the prospect of a film centering on Han Solo almost immediately starting swirling (as did the idea of an Obi-Wan film). After all, the character — so famously played by Harrison Ford — is among the most beloved characters in the entire saga. He is more than charming enough to carry a film exploring his smuggling days before crossing paths with Obi-Wan Kenobi and Luke Skywalker in the Mos Eisley Cantina.
Now that Alden Ehrenreich has been confirmed as the scruffy-looking nerf herder himself, the search is on for an actor who can take on the role of Han’s equally roguish pal, Lando Calrissian. Billy Dee Williams brought the character to life in both The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi, and his iconic performance may be as tough to match as that of Ford’s.
Since Williams is a few years older than Ford, we’re assuming that the actor Lucasfilm pairs with Ehrenreich will be roughly a bit older than the 26-year-old, with a pair of notable exceptions. Here are our thoughts on some actors who could end up playing young Lando.
1. Donald Glover
Reports are already pouring in that the 32-year-old Community star is the first choice to play the young Lando Calrissian. Given his extensive fanbase and years of proven talent, Glover certainly seems like a good fit. He’s got enough charisma to pull off the role, and aside from a smaller role in last year’s The Martian, he has yet to really land a big-screen role that could help him transition to film. This could very well be the opportunity he needs. [Update, 10/24/16: Per StarWars.com, Donald Glover has been cast in the role of young Lando!]
2. Michael B. Jordan
The 29-year-old star of Creed and last year’s ill-fated Fantastic Four reboot arguably looks the part of Lando better than anyone else on this list, and like Glover, he’s the right age to play the part. Moreover, he’s probably one of the hottest young stars working right now, which makes him an attractive option for Lucasfilm (especially considering that Ehrenreich is hardly a household name). However, he may be too busy with other projects to commit to the role.
3. Corey Hawkins
After starring in last year’s mega-hit Straight Outta Compton, Corey Hawkins and his co-stars appeared destined for greater fame. The 27-year-old has already landed the lead role in Fox’s reboot 24: Legacy and will appear in Kong: Skull Island. He has the right look and charisma to embody Lando but, like Jordan, could be too busy with other projects to sign on. Even if he’s a bit on the young side for the role, there’s little doubt he would crush it.
4. Brandon T. Jackson
The same age as Glover, Brandon T. Jackson has never really landed that one film role that helps his career explode. Aside from his supporting role in the Percy Jackson films, the 32-year-old is probably best known for his turn as rapper Alpa Chino in Tropic Thunder. With looks smooth enough and a resume diverse enough to bring both the humor and more heroic aspects of Lando to life, Jackson could be a solid dark horse option for the role.
5. Stephan James
At just 22 years of age, Stephan James is our first outsider choice to play Lando. As Jesse Owens in Race, the young actor delivered a tour-de-force performance that proved he was a star in the making. All he’s really lacking is the role to really help him blow up. If Lucasfilm is looking to hire an up-and-comer for the role of Lando (as they did with Ehrenreich as Han), James is certainly a solid choice.
6. Anthony Mackie
Believe it or not, Anthony Mackie is 38-years-old. Hard to believe that the actor best known as Falcon in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) is nearing 40, but it’s true. It’s also perhaps the only reason we think he’s unlikely to land the role of Lando. We suspect that Lucasfilm is aiming to go younger for the film, but if they do decide to broaden their scope, Mackie is already working within the Disney family and would almost certainly be open to it, assuming his MCU schedule allows for another high-profile production.
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