Former ‘Lando’ Writer Dumps On Lucasfilm After He Was Replaced By Donald Glover: “I Don’t Know Why Anybody Would Sign Up For That Again”
Former Lando writer Justin Simien recently indicated he has no intention of working with Lucasfilm again after they replaced him with Stephen and Donald Glover.
Speaking with TheWrap, Simien signaled he has no interest of ever working with Lucasfilm.
First, he detailed that he did not receive any communication from Lucasfilm indicating he was off the project, revealing news headlines informed him of the reality, “It was the first time I had gotten any official confirmation at all about what was happening with [‘Lando’].”
“You’d certainly, like, hear rumors. It’s a small town. Donald Glover and I have a lot of mutual friends. So I had some idea of possibilities of what might be happening and why we haven’t heard from anybody,” he added.
Next, he would commiserate with director Guillermo del Toro never getting to make his Jabba the Hutt movie, “I’m seeing Guillermo del Toro making the rounds [online], who also was attached to the ‘Haunted Mansion’ incidentally, at a certain point, talking about his Jabba the Hutt movie that didn’t get made. There’s a pattern, isn’t there? And at least I’m not alone in this situation.”
He then implied he’s done with Lucasfilm, “But I would say, I don’t know how it went [for del Toro] — I don’t know why anybody would sign up for that again, to sort of like pour your heart and soul into something, and then to wait for several years, and then find out in an article that someone else is doing it. Yeah, I don’t know if I want to do that again. That doesn’t sound fun to me at all.”
However, he is interested to see what the Glover brothers cook up, “The good news is that I’m a huge fan — truly, genuinely of Donald Glover, and particularly the work that him and his brother do. So I’m also happy to just be a fan and watch it, and sort of get to experience it the way an audience would, because it’s certainly what I wanted to see when I said yes to the project.”
A Lando Disney+ TV series was originally announced back in 2020 during the Disney Investor Day 2020 presentation.
Kathleen Kennedy made the announcement saying, ““Lando Calrissian is the galaxy’s smoothest, most notorious scoundrel. And he will return in a brand new event series for Disney Plus.”
She continued, “Justin Simein, the creator of the critically acclaimed and hugely popular Dear White People is developing the story with us now. A massive Star Wars fan himself, Justin has put together a reel to give you a sense of the style, tone, and irresistible swagger of our upcoming series, Lando.”
A sizzle reel promoting the show was shown to investors, but was not made available to the public.
Donald Glover would seemingly indicate he was attached to the series in an interview with GQ in April.
He told the outlet, ““I would love to play Lando again. It’s a fun time to be him. It just has to be the right– it just needs to be the right way to do it.”
He continued, “I’m all about– now, time is precious. I think everybody’s like, in the past couple of years, this pandemic s**t, like, really had peple experience time in a way where there like, ‘Well, why am I? I should be around oranges.’ People kind of realize like their time is valuable. You only get so much.”
To that point, he said, “So like, I’m not interested in doing anything that’s just going to be like a waste or my time or just a paycheck. I’d much rather spend time with people that I like enjoy. So it just has to be the right thing. Which I think it could be. Lando is definitely somebody I’d like to hang out with.”
He then revealed he was in discussions with Lucasfilm, “So yeah, I mean we’re talking about it. That’s as much as I can say, you know, without Kathleen Kennedy like hunting me down.”
Kennedy confirmed the series was still in development and that Donald Glover was attached during Star Wars Celebration 2023 in April.
She was asked by IGN, “Donald Glover recently talked about the Lando series, can you give us any update on that? Is it still happening?”
Kennedy answered, “It’s still happening and he’s very excited about it.”
Back in July, while Simien was promoting the Disney film, Haunted Mansion, he told The Direct he had not heard about the project since 2020.
He said, “I certainly poured my heart and spent a lot of time working with them to put together a really great show. It feels like everybody loves it.”
Simien then detailed what he had been told on why the series has not moved forward, “And, you know, I was told we had to put a pause on it because of scheduling, and the next update I got [was in 2020], some years ago. So I don’t know, I have no idea what’s going on with it.”
Simien would later inform The Hollywood Reporter, “I am attached, I think, but I don’t really know. (Laughs.) The last thing I was told was that they loved it but needed to put a pin in it until they could figure out everybody’s availability. I haven’t investigated further, but I’m not an idiot. I’m not alone in that experience.”
He then posited that Lucasfilm wasn’t talking to him because of his identity, “But I can’t help but wonder, ‘Am I too Black? Am I too queer? And people just don’t want to say that?’ Because it seems like I develop things with these companies and they just never happen for reasons unknown.”
On the same day Simien’s interview with The Hollywood Reporter was published a report from Above The Line claimed that Simien had been off the project since July and he had been replaced by Donald and Stephen Glover.
The outlet stated, “The Glover brothers replace Haunted Mansion director Justin Simien on the project.”
In September, Stephen Glover revealed that the series would no longer be a series, but would be a feature film instead.
In an appearance on the Pablo Torre Finds Out podcast, Glover stated, “We’re doing…it’s not even a show.”
He eventually elaborated, “No, the idea right now is to do a movie. But uh, that’s the thing, like right now, because of the strike, it’s kind of like telephone, all the information coming out.”
Lucasfilm would confirm with Variety that the project was being adapted as a film rather than a Disney+ series.
What do you make of Simien’s comments about Lucasfilm?