Williams originated the iconic role of Lando Calrissian in the original "Star Wars" trilogy, most recently portrayed by Donald Glover in "Solo: A Star Wars Story."
Move over Donald Glover, the original Lando Calrissian is back in business. According to a new report, Billy Dee Williams has agreed to put back on the cape and that disarming smile to woo the galaxy one more time for "Star Wars: Episode IX."
Even more exciting, this casting news isn't breaking the internet in all the wrong ways the way more recent castings of John Boyega, Daisy Ridley, Felicity Jones and Kelly Marie Tran did. Apparently, even the most toxic of fanboys are okay with some diversity in their galaxy far, far away, just so long as it stems from the high holy original trilogy.
It'll be the third theatrical outing for Williams, who originated the portrayal in "The Empire Strikes Back," returning to wrap up the original trilogy in "Return of the Jedi." The 81-year-old actor has gone on to reprise the character for several "Star Wars" video games and a story arc in the recent "Star Wars: Rebels" animated series and several "LEGO Star Wars" specials.
Speculation has run rampant for a while now that Williams might reprise his most iconic role, and especially after the passing of Carrie Fisher in real life and Han Solo and Luke Skywalker on-screen left the final chapter in sequel trilogy without anyone to represent the original cast. Speculation had been that he might appear in "Episode VIII," but that turned into a Luke-centric story, with Mark Hamill returning.
Williams recently turned down an upcoming convention appearance due to a movie conflict, causing speculation to flare up again. According to The Hollywood Reporter, that conflict is indeed the upcoming continuation of the saga begun a long time ago by George Lucas in 1977.
The character of Lando Calrissian has been enjoying a high already in 2018, with Donald Glover's portrayal of him seen by many as the highlight of Lucasfilm's mildly disappointing "Solo: A Star Wars Story." While the film disappointed by "Star Wars" lofty box office expectations, it did score more than $375 million at the box office. And while there may be no "Solo II" in the future, story threads could easily be picked up in a solo "Lando" film.
For now, fans are looking forward to the original swashbuckling hero returning to action to teach the new kids in the galaxy what it is to be cool. Below are some of their most enthusiastic responses:
If, due to a time travel device or the Force, there’s a plot development that allows Lando to repeat his EMPIRE STRIKES BACK line “There’s still a chance to save Han!” and get us back to that fateful bridge on Starkiller base? Then I’ll kiss JJ on the mouth. I’ll French him even. https://t.co/Tf1B4ppnmG— KevinSmith (@ThatKevinSmith) July 10, 2018
Lando showing up in ep9 like pic.twitter.com/Kp3RG0ViQl— Paul:The Pains of Growing💛💛 (@spiderham2099) July 10, 2018
Billy Dee Williams is returning it to the role he was born to play...and all is right with the world!! Welcome Home Lando!!!! pic.twitter.com/kCQ6ulsldm— Ziggy (@mrjafri) July 10, 2018
BETTER HAVE A GOOD EXCUSE FOR NOT SHOWING UP WHEN LEIA SENT OUT THAT BEACON, LANDO. https://t.co/0NjLu3ICi0— Hector Navarro (@Hectorisfunny) July 10, 2018
Lando in ep 9:— Alexandra (@alexdaydreams) July 10, 2018
"I've seen you run around butt naked. You don't scare me, little starfighter."
billy Dee WILLIAMS!!!!!!!! LANDO IS COMING BACK FOR Episode IX! Remember after Episode VIII I said the only way to finish off DJs story properly was to bring back Lando? Yo - I'm hype right now!— Jesse Cox (@JesseCox) July 10, 2018
I hope Lando is the one to finally win the Star Wars.— Brandon Bird (@Brandon_Bird) July 10, 2018
Lando is gonna roast Kylo's dumbass bland cape in episode ix— c. (@infinitelykylo) July 10, 2018
i'm so excited to see lando again omg omg omg omg— yasminha™ (@kenoobis) July 10, 2018
Guys just think about some great Lando, Finn and Poe interactions. I have a feeling those guys will get along well together 🙌— Evan (@HarrisHarrisev9) July 10, 2018
Billy Dee Energy, baby. https://t.co/ozV2KtTjL8— Charles PM @ SDCC (@CharlesPulliam) July 9, 2018
Give me a movie where Donald Glover’s Lando hangs out with Billy Dee Williams’ Lando and don’t explain anything.— Kurtis “The Future Mr.” Tunnski (@KTunnski) July 10, 2018
Time travel? Clone? Who effing cares!
Give me a 2.5 hour movie with them both playing cards. I don’t care, make it happen. https://t.co/qeI36FVCqy
My brain when I hear that Billy Dee Williams is coming back for Episode IX!#lando #billydee #billydeewilliams #landocalrissian #starwars #starwarsdaily #episodeix #starwarsepisodeix #starwarsfan #starwarsnerd #filmnews #scifi pic.twitter.com/jqXQGyZ8DH— Craig Andrew Boliver (@craigisashark) July 10, 2018
Guys! Billy Dee Williams is coming back for #StarWars 9!! They're not messing around, lol.— dukeofdork (@RealDukeofDork) July 10, 2018
I AM SO UNBELIEVABLY HYPED FOR THIS. BILLY DEE WILLIAMS IS BACK. LANDO CALRISSIAN IS BACK. https://t.co/EawlsWZJMl— David (@Tolkiened) July 9, 2018