Billy Dee Williams reprises role as swashbuckling Lando Calrissian in Star Wars: Episode IX
Billy Dee Williams will be reprising his iconic role in Star Wars: Episode IX as the roguish gambler Lando Calrissian, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
The 81-year-old actor entered the sci-fi universe in The Empire Strikes Back, the second instillment of the original Star Wars trilogy and returned as a major character in Return of the Jedi released 1983.
His character is one of the most popular in the Star Wars universe, especially after a younger version of Calrissian, played by Donald Glover, swashbuckled his way through this year's Solo: A Star Wars Story.
The film allowed the possibility for sequels and some fans speculated Lucasfilm could be considering a Lando Calrissian spin-off.
Since appearing in Star Wars, Williams has voiced Calrissian in dozens of cartoons and video games, but the December 2019 film will be his return to playing the beloved character on the big screen.
Star Wars fans caught on to the actor’s return after Williams abandoned plans to appear at the forthcoming Saskatchewan Entertainment Expo.
He claimed the cancellation was due to an upcoming scheduling conflict and fans speculated that Star Wars: Episode IX was the reason, as the film is set to begin production later this summer.
The Hollywood Reporter confirmed yesterday (Monday July 9) that Williams will indeed be revisiting the iconic role.
Williams, originally from New York, will be joining core cast Daisy Ridley (Rey), John Boyega (Finn), Adam Driver (Kylo Ren) and Oscar Issac (Poe Dameron) for the highly anticipated Episode IX, directed by J.J. Abrams, who also helmed Star Wars: The Force Awakens.
Like Harrison Ford (Han Solo), Mark Hamill (Luke Skywalker) and the late Carrie Fisher (Leia Organa), Williams's character will likely act as a thread tethering the original cast to the new ensemble.
The film is set for release December 20 2019.
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