Donald Glover reveals why he chose to write, direct and star in Lando show: Control

Donald Glover thinks his singular vision for a Lando Calrissian movie will make people want to see it.
Donald Glover is Lando Calrissian in SOLO: A STAR WARS STORY.
Donald Glover is Lando Calrissian in SOLO: A STAR WARS STORY. /

Lucasfilm has famously had trouble getting new Star Wars movies off the ground in recent years, announcing projects only to cancel them later, like Patty Jenkins' Rogue Squadron movie or Kevin Feige's mysterious project. But it looks like it has something that's going to happen: a movie about Lando Calrissian, Han Solo's best frenemy from the original Star Wars trilogy. Donald Glover played a young Lando in Solo: A Star Wars Story, and he will return in the new movie.

Alongside his brother Stephen, Donald Glover will also write the movie. The pair of them took over the project from Dear White People creator Justin Simien, who was in charge when it was being developed as a Disney+ TV series. Now it's a movie, and the Force willing, there won't be any other changes. There needs to be some consistency in the galaxy far, far away.

Speaking to The Hollywood Reporter, Glover said that he went back and forth about coming back to play Lando again. "I said yes because I like the characters and my kids love Star Wars," he said. As for taking over behind the camera, that was a definite plus.

"I feel like I have enough control," Glover said. "And maybe you get painted as a control freak, but it’s like, yeah, control allows for the vision to be singular. And if the vision is singular, people want it more. The less it’s singular, the less people want it because they feel like they could’ve made it.

"Look, we live in a time where anybody can f***ing make anything. You go on TikTok, there’s literally every type of thing. There’s documentaries, there’s puppetry, there’s yarn stop-motion. So why would you want to see something you feel like you could have made?"

I'll admit I don't fully understand Glover's point about people not wanting to see your thing if it doesn't come from a singular vision because they feel like they could have made it. The appeal of smaller creators on TikTok and YouTube and other platforms is that it does come from a singular vision, rather than the creation-by-committee approach often undertaken in Hollywood. Whatever, that one went over my head.

However, I do agree with Glover that people are attracted by the idea of a single creative voice guiding a big project from start to finish. The strongest Star Wars show put out on Disney+ to date has been Andor, for which showrunner Tony Gilroy has a very clear vision. Meanwhile, the movie The Rise of Skywalker was a bit of a compromised mess that pleased some people a little and almost no one completely. That movie has story credits from four people: Derek Connolly, Colin Trevorrow, J. J. Abrams and Chris Terrio, a remnant of the behind-the-scenes back-and-forth that led up to production. The whole sequel trilogy had a lack of direction from the top, and the result is less than the sum of its parts.

It's not that a strong vision always makes for a better final product — director Rian Johnson had a clear vision for his Star Wars movie The Last Jedi, and plenty of people hated that — but it usually makes for a more distinct final project, and I'll gladly take that over something that's been turned over by focus groups and edited to within an inch of its life by various producers.

In other words, the Lando movie has my attention, if Glover and company can actually get it over the finish line. You can currently see Glover in Mr. and Mrs. Smith on Amazon Prime Video.

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