In the almost three years since Disney announced that Justin Simien would be developing the Star Wars: Lando miniseries, the studio itself has yet to offer any official updates about the project, though reports emerged earlier this summer that star Donald Glover would be developing the project with his brother Stephen Glover, with those social media updates being the most Simien had learned about the project. When those reports emerged, Simien shared them on social media and also offered his support of Donald Glover, which is a sentiment he maintains, even if he has some disappointment over not getting official updates directly from Disney.
“It was the first time I had gotten any official confirmation at all about what was happening with [Lando],” Simien recently confirmed with TheWrap. “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, “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.”
What makes matters so interesting is that Simien had been working closely with Disney to bring this year’s Haunted Mansion to life, so while Disney oversaw the project and also controls the rights to Star Wars, it seems like the communication breakdown is more connected directly to Lucasfilm than Disney as a whole. Simien also is far from the first filmmaker to part ways from a Lucasfilm project, with the filmmaker reflecting on how Guillermo del Toro recently discussed an abandoned Jabba the Hutt project, confirming that the scrapping of plans isn’t indicative of a creative’s talent. Additionally, del Toro had also been attached to develop a Haunted Mansion movie previously.
“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,” Simien confessed to the outlet. “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.”