Billy Dee Williams Returning to 'Star Wars' Franchise to Play Lando Calrissian in 'Episode IX'

Billy Dee Williams
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Billy Dee Williams will once again don his iconic cape to reprise his role as Lando Calrissian.

The man who originated the charismatic character nearly four decades ago is reportedly headed back to that far away galaxy for Star Wars: Episode IX, the upcoming installment in the blockbuster franchise.

Rumors began to swirl regarding his involvement when the 81-year-old actor backed out of an appearance at an upcoming sci-fi convention, explaining that the event conflicted with his scheduled involvement in the production of an upcoming film, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Williams first portrayed the suave space raconteur in 1980's Star Wars: Episode V -- The Empire Strikes Back, and made his final on-screen appearance as Calrissian in 1983's Return of the Jedi.

He's also lent his iconic voice to the character in numerous animated film and TV projects, as well as several Star Wars video games.

ET has reached out to Disney and reps for Williams for comment.

Star Wars: Episode IX, which is helmed by The Force Awakens director J.J. Abrams, is set to rocket into theaters Dec. 20, 2019.

Recently, Donald Glover stepped into Williams' formidable shoes when he played a younger version of Calrissian in Solo: A Star Wars Story.

ET caught up with Glover at the star-studded Hollywood premiere of Solo back in May, and the actor said that getting to portray the legendary character is "definitely a highlight" of his career.

"My dad, he really grew me up on [Star Wars], so like this is an apex of a lot of feelings, so it's great," said Glover, adding that getting to see the film finally hit screens across the country "really is a dream."

"To be a part of this family and to be able to play young Lando, a hero of mine, you know, it's the stuff dreams are made of, so I feel really blessed," he added.

Check out the video below to hear more.


Donald Glover Opens Up About Playing Lando Calrissian in Upcoming 'Star Wars': 'You Couldn't Say No'

Billy Dee Williams Opens Up About 'Very Nice Lunch' With Young Lando Calrissian Donald Glover

Donald Glover Shares His Mom's Advice For Playing Lando Calrissian: 'Don't Mess It Up'

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