Reports have begun to trickle in about exactly which characters and actors to expect in J.J. Abrams’ Star Wars: Episode IX, with some reports proving firmer than others. This week brings one of the most confident reports on the production yet: Billy Dee Williams, one of the series’ biggest original actors, is set to return for his first series film appearance since 1983.
The Hollywood Reporter cites “sources” familiar with the film’s production to confirm that Williams will reprise the role of Lando Calrissian in Episode IX. THR was unable to otherwise confirm any details about Calrissian’s role in the upcoming film, and Lucasfilm has not yet acknowledged the report with its own confirmation.
This report follows a late-June announcement from the Saskatchewan Entertainment Expo to issue the bad news that Williams would not appear as had been previously scheduled, which immediately set tongues wagging across the Star Wars fan-osphere.
Williams has not shied away from decades of opportunities to reprise the popular role of Calrissian—though these have come almost exclusively in voiceover roles for animated series like Star Wars Rebels and video games like Jedi Knight II: Jedi Outcast. For the character’s return in this year’s Solo: A Star Wars Story, Williams advised actor Donald Glover to “just be charming.”
The news follows less-firm reports from last week that Abrams has begun negotiating a role for actress Keri Russell in Episode IX, which would mark the director-actor pair’s first project together since Mission Impossible III. The duo is famously tied together thanks to their work on ’90s series Felicity.
- Lando, Luke, and Leia (non-CGI) return for Star Wars: Episode IX
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- Report: Lucasfilm puts Obi-Wan film “on hold” after underwhelming Solo debut
- Report: EA’s beleaguered, open-world Star Wars game is no more
- Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order is reportedly scheduled to launch in November