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Star Wars 9: Lando actor Billy Dee Williams returning to franchise

The actor last played the character on film in 1983's Return of the Jedi

Jacob Stolworthy
Tuesday 10 July 2018 08:03 BST
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Star Wars 9 fever is officially underway with the circulation of several casting rumours intensifying in recent weeks.

Following on from the news that The Americans star Keri Russell will be joining the fold, it's now been confirmed that Billy Dee Williams - the original actor behind Han Solo's compadre Lando Calrissian - will be rejoining the franchise.

Sources confirmed to The Hollywood Reporter that Episode IX will mark Williams' first appearance in the film series as the character since Return of the Jedi in 1983. He made his debut in 1980 sequel The Empire Strikes Back with Donald Glover playing a younger incarnation of the gambler in spin-off prequel Solo which was released earlier this summer.

Williams, 81, has remained affiliated with the Star Wars franchise throughout his career having voiced the character in several video games, animated TV shows and audiobooks. Away from Lucasfilm, he's starred opposite Sylvester Stallone in thriller Nighthawks (1981), played Harvey Dent in Tim Burton's Batman in 1989 and cameoed in the third season of TV series Lost.

The as-of-yet untitled Episode IX will reunite director JJ Abrams with Daisy Ridley, Adam Driver, John Boyega and Oscar Isaac.

It'll be released 20 December 2019 with production set to commence later this summer.

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