Donald Glover has been officially cast as a young Lando Calrissian in the upcoming Han Solo: A Star Wars Story film hitting theaters in 2018.
Lucasfilm announced the casting Friday afternoon, following up the rumors from August about him being considered for the role. The movie doesn't have an official title yet, but will tell the story of a young Han Solo, played by Alden Ehrenreich, before he joined the Rebel Alliance, in the era known to Star Wars fans as the "Dark Times," the heart of the Empire's rule between episodes III and IV.
Phil Lord and Christopher Miller are directing the film, off a script by Lawrence Kasdan and his son John Kasdan. The first real story hint about the movie was given in the press release, as well, in regards to Lando's role in the film.
"[The Han Solo Star Wars Story movie is] bringing two iconic Star Wars characters back to the big screen, but at a time in their lives previously unexplored. This new film depicts Lando in his formative years as a scoundrel on the rise in the galaxy’s underworld — years before the events involving Han, Leia, and Darth Vader in The Empire Strikes Back and his rise to Rebel hero in Return of the Jedi."
Lord and Miller issued a joint statement in the press release, saying, "We're so lucky to have an artist as talented as Donald join us.These are big shoes to fill, and an even bigger cape, and this one fits him perfectly, which will save us money on alterations. Also, we’d like to publicly apologize to Donald for ruining Comic-Con for him forever."
Donald Glover hit it big with Community, launching his stand-up career and a rap career as Childish Gambino. Most recently, he's appeared in The Martian, starred on FX series Atlanta, and was cast in Spider-Man: Homecoming for 2017.
Glover joins Ehrenreich as the second official castmember of the Han Solo film, both playing already iconic roles. Glover's role of Lando follows Billy Dee Williams, who himself has voiced a younger Lando in the animated series Star Wars Rebels; but this movie will reach even further back. For fans in the know, Han Solo won his famous starship, the Millennium Falcon, from Lando in a card game - perhaps we'll be seeing that infamous moment in this film.
Ehrenreich, meanwhile, comes into the boots of Harrison Ford in a role he went through six months of auditions to secure. Lord praised his "charisma and maverick swagger" back at Star Wars Celebration Europe, where he revealed that Ehrenreich was the first actor to audition for the role (though they saw about 3,000 people in total for it anyway).
The untitled Han Solo Star Wars Story film will release in 2018. Lucasfilm previously secured May 25, 2018 for the film, but after Star Wars: Episode VIII was pushed from May 2017 to December 2017, speculation has been that they may want to continue the December streak started with Star Wars: The Force Awakens. The next film in the line is Rogue One: A Star Wars Story on December 16, 2016, the first of the standalone films.