Posted on Friday, August 12th, 2016 by Ethan Anderton
This winter brings Rogue One: A Star Wars Story to theaters. It will be the first theatrically release live-action Star Wars feature film that tells a story outside of the traditional trilogy narrative of the saga. Even though we still have months before we see that film in its entirety, the second movie in the Star Wars Story series is already in the works, and it will focus on the famous smuggler Han Solo before he became caught up with the Rebellion in Star Wars: A New Hope.
Alden Ehrenreich was previously confirmed to play Han Solo, taking the role played memorably by Harrison Ford, and just yesterday we learned that a young Lando Calrissian will be joining him at some point in the movie. Right now the hunt is on for an actor to play the scoundrel friend of Han Solo who made his debut in The Empire Strikes Back and received an expanded role in Return of the Jedi.
After the initial report surfaced, Donald Glover was said to be the frontrunner. But there’s no guarantee he’ll end up with the part when all is said and done, so we came up with a batch of 15 other possibilities for who could play young Lando Calrissian. Some of the choices are obvious, but we dug a little deeper for some of the options to come up with some lesser known names who could catch their big break like Harrison Ford did back in 1977.
We’re going to start with Donald Glover because he’s one of the most obvious picks. Even before he was named as a frontrunner a few hours after the initial story broke, he was already floating around this list we put together. He was once a desired contender for a new Spider-Man, and he’s created quite a solid career as a supporting actor with roles in The Martian and Magic Mike XXL. The latter is easily the best evidence of his swagger alongside his career as a rap artist under the name Childish Gambino.
Michael B. Jordan
Another obvious choice since he’s one of the biggest younger black actors on the scene right now, Michael B. Jordan definitely has the star power to play a character like Lando Calrissian. Thanks to Creed we know he has the confidence, and with a role as one of the villains in Marvel’s Black Panther movie, we know he has a good relationship with Disney. Adding Michael B. Jordan to anything is a good idea, and it’s not hard to see him as Han Solo’s friend at all.
Personally, I think Anthony Mackie is the best possible choice to play a young Lando Calrissian. The only problem is he would have been much better for the role about 10 or 15 years ago. Alden Ehrenreich will be 27 this fall while Anthony Mackie is coming up on 38. Mackie still looks great for his age, so there’s a chance he could pull it off, but I’m betting Disney is looking to go younger, even though they have The Falcon sitting right in their backyard, presumably ready to take this role.
Let’s just keep this Marvel train rolling with another likely candidate who already has a good relationship with Disney. Chadwick Boseman already has plenty of experience playing people from real life thanks to his turns as Jackie Robinson in 42 and James Brown in Get On Up, so bringing a character to life who was already played by Billy Dee Williams wouldn’t be a difficult task for the actor. Plus, he’s already proven to be a valuable box office asset as Marvel’s Black Panther. Of course, his shooting schedule for his own Marvel movie might keep him too occupied to take the role.
All right, now we’re starting to dig into the names you probably don’t know. Shameik Moore made a big splash in the Sundance selected coming of age comedy Dope, and his lead role in the film proves that he has a bright future ahead of him. Moore is still looking for a big break that will make him more of a household name, and taking on the role of Lando Calrissian could be the right opportunity for him. He’s a little younger at 21 years old, but he’s got a mature look to him to stand his own with Alden Ehrenreich. We’ll get to see more of him soon enough in Baz Luhrmann’s Netflix series The Get Down.