In the ever-evolving landscape of the entertainment industry, surprises are not uncommon. However, some surprises are more shocking than others. One such recent surprise was the departure of Justin Simien, the original showrunner for the much-anticipated ‘Lando’ series on Disney Plus. The twist? Simien found out about his dismissal from the project through the news, just like the rest of us.
The Unforeseen Revelation
News of Justin Simien’s exit from the ‘Lando’ series sent ripples of surprise through the industry and fanbase alike. The unexpected revelation was apparently just as shocking for Simien himself. The narrative that had been circulating suggested a seamless transition of the writing baton from Simien to the Glover brothers, Donald and Stephen. However, the reality, as it turns out, was quite different.
The Narrative That Was
Jeff Sneider, the journalist who broke the news, had painted a picture of a well-orchestrated changeover on his podcast, The Hot Mic. He speculated that Lucasfilm had decided to part ways with Simien due to his involvement in the time-consuming post-production process of ‘Haunted Mansion’. This coincided with Donald Glover’s availability after wrapping up ‘Atlanta’ for FX. The narrative suggested a smooth decision worked out well in advance between all parties.
The Reality That Is
Simien, in a now-deleted Instagram story, revealed his surprise at learning about his exit from the project via a Variety headline. His post read, “This is me finding out rn” (right now), indicating that he had been kept in the dark about the change. The revelation was a stark contrast to the narrative that had been presented to the public, shedding light on the often unpredictable nature of the entertainment industry.
Grace Under Pressure
Despite the unexpected turn of events, Simien demonstrated grace under pressure. He wished the Glover brothers luck in their new endeavor, expressing his excitement to see their interpretation of the character of Lando. His Instagram story read, “Donald is a national treasure. Glad he and Stephen get to carry the character forward their way. Can’t wait to see. Rooting for everybody Black.” This response showcased Simien’s professionalism and his unwavering support for his fellow creatives.
The Future of ‘Lando’
As of now, the Glover brothers are the only credited writers for the ‘Lando’ series. However, the final decision rests with the Writers Guild of America (WGA) once the series is released. Meanwhile, the Hollywood writers, including the Glovers, are on strike, halting any ongoing work. This situation adds another layer of uncertainty to the future of the ‘Lando’ series.
Simien’s Future Endeavors
Simien, who likely joined Disney’s ‘Haunted Mansion’ project during a gap in his schedule while waiting for Glover to wrap up ‘Atlanta’, has recently seen the movie hit the theaters. He’s not one to rest on his laurels, though. He’s already signed on for a ‘Flashdance’ reboot for Paramount Plus and is also working on a Hollywood Black docuseries with Forest Whitaker, which explores the Black experience in film history, for MGM Plus. These projects showcase Simien’s versatility and commitment to telling diverse stories.
The unexpected departure of Justin Simien from the ‘Lando’ series serves as a reminder of the unpredictable nature of the entertainment industry. Despite the surprise, Simien’s graceful response and continued commitment to his craft serve as an inspiration. As for ‘Star Wars: Lando’, it remains in development at Disney Plus, promising a fresh take on the beloved character under the creative helm of the Glover brothers.