The legendary Billy Dee Williams was in his early 40s when he first graced our screens as the enigmatic character Lando Calrissian in the second instalment of the Star Wars franchise, The Empire Strikes Back (1980). He went on to star in the third instalment and has become a fan favourite ever since.
A younger Lando is set to appear in the upcoming Han Solo spin-off movie and casting for the role has yet to be finalised. Rumour has it that the Han Solo movie takes place on the Star Wars timeline between Revenge of the Sith and A New Hope. If that's correct, according to the lore, this means Lando could be around 17 to 22 years younger than Williams was in The Empire Strikes Back, which means they'll need to cast an actor who can pass as being in their early twenties.
So far, according to the rumour mill, Josh Trank (Chronicle) is looking like he'll be the Director. He's currently locked in to direct a stand-alone Star Wars movie in 2018 and everyone is pretty certain it's a Han Solo origin story. Therefore, when discussing who should play Lando, there is really only one actor that deserves the top consideration...
Without further ado, here we go!
10 Reasons Why Michael B. Jordan is Lando Calrissian
How could he not be the #1 pick? He's just so hot right now.
Jordan has so many ticks against his name, they might as well just give him the role now and be done with it.
1. He has legitimate acting credibility - see [Fruitvale Station](movie:832205). For his breakthrough role as Oscar Grant, Jordan was nominated for 11 acting awards and won 5 of them. He is a great actor who has the chops necessary to play a legendary character like Lando.
2. He is best buds with Josh Trank, having starred in Chronicle and getting cast in Trank's upcoming Fantastic Four reboot (and it's sequels). If Trank wants him to play Lando, Jordan wouldn't even need to audition.
3. He's already semi-affiliated with Disney, who owns Star Wars. He's currently cast as 'The Human Torch' in the upcoming Fantastic Four reboot (which is also directed by Josh Trank). Despite being a Fox movie, Fantastic Four is still a Marvel property and Disney owns Marvel. It all connects.
4. He has already had a confirmed meeting with J. J. Abrams, who is currently directing Star Wars 7. That meeting was apparently an audition for [Star Wars: Episode VII — The Force Awakens](movie:711158), but when you consider that Abrams is practically Disney's new 'Godfather' of the Star Wars empire, this only adds fuel to the fire.
5. By the time 2018 rolls around, Jordan will have significant star power thanks to [The Fantastic Four](movie:34667) and Creed (The Rocky Spin-Off). He'll be a certified A-lister who'll be able to slay the box office with his name alone, regardless of who they cast as Han Solo.
6. The people want Jordan to be Lando! Isn't that right Sean O'Neal? Google Jordan's name and Lando together and it'll become clear pretty quickly that fans all over the world want this to happen. This will not go unnoticed by Disney.
7. He has a baby face that could easily pass for a young Lando. Jordan is currently 28 years old and will be pushing 31 by the time the Han Solo movie rolls around, but, at this stage, he could easily pass as someone in their early twenties, especially with make-up. Also, if Disney decides to push the timeline so it's closer to A New Hope, it won't matter that Jordan is a bit older.
8. His height and build perfectly matches Billy Dee Williams. Williams stands at 1.83m tall, whilst Jordan comes in at 1.82m. Put Jordan in a pair of boots and they'll be identical.
9. Critics have already labelled Jordan as one of the most 'charismatic' actors on the market right now. Seriously, Google his name and the word 'charismatic' and it appears in almost every review. Why is this important? Lando Calrissian exudes charisma like sweat. Charisma is probably Lando's single defining character trait.
10. Jordan is a gambler who loves to play poker. Ring any bells? Lando Calrissian is a notorious and prodigious gambler who managed to win the Millennium Falcon in a game of high stakes sabacc. This very moment is expected to be played out in full in the Han Solo movie. Jordan won't need to do any research into gambling, he's already got all the facial expressions and body language down pat.
"Mother Calrissian did always say gambling would be the end of me."
- Lando Calrissian