After news of Keri Russell potentially joining the cast of “Star Wars: Episode IX,” Billy Dee Williams is the latest name being tipped to star in the upcoming installment. The actor is reportedly set to reprise his role as Lando Calrissian in the franchise, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
Billy Dee Williams looks set to return to the galaxy far, far away. The actor, who played Lando Calrissian, is reportedly being lined up to reprise the cult character in the next episode of the saga, “Star Wars: Episode IX,” opening December 20, 2019.
Although Billy Dee Williams voiced the Lando character in various cartoons and video games, it is 36 years since his last appearance in a “Star Wars” movie. The character — portrayed as a friend of Han Solo, as well as the original owner of the Millennium Falcon — made his debut appearance in 1980’s “The Empire Strikes Back,” then starred in 1983’s “Return of the Jedi.”
A popular character in the sci-fi saga, Lando Calrissian returned to the franchise in its most recent film, “Solo: A Star Wars Story,” a spin-off released in May, directed by Ron Howard. The young Lando Calrissian was played by the actor Donald Glover, winning acclaim from fans.
Despite the disappointing box-office performance of the recent release, “Star Wars: Episode IX,” directed by J. J. Abrams, is still eagerly awaited by fans of the franchise. Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac and Adam Driver will all return, possibly with Keri Russell, who was recently rumored to be joining the cast. Lucasfilm is scheduled to start production on “Episode IX” this summer.