Donald Glover Cast As Lando Calrissian In New ‘Star Wars’

Donald Glover’s long been waving his flag for black nerds. He even took time to break down his personal definition of what it means to be a nerd in his 2012 stand-up special, Weirdo. So it’s no surprise that his latest role is a dream come true for many of his fans.

The actor/rapper/singer was cast as none other than Lando Calrissian, by way of Cloud City, in the upcoming Han Solo spinoff Star Wars film. Confirming rumors that have circulated for months.

Donald Glover to play Spiderman, the animated version

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Well it’s finally happening–almost.

Community star Donald Glover expressed interest in playing the lead role in The Amazing Spiderman in 2010.

His fans took his request pretty seriously, and launched a social media campaign complete with a #donald4spiderman hashtag to make this a reality. 

The role ultimately went to Andrew Garfield, but now, Glover is finally getting his chance to play the character. 

Monday Morning Challenge: Cast Good Times

Here’s the deal: Sony Pictures has decided to turn the 70’s television sitcom Good Times into a feature-length film. Last week, Deadline reported that Sony has tapped producer Scott Rudin and writer Phil Johnston to head the project. (Before we go all Spike Lee and question whether a couple of white dudes should be in charge of this, let’s all take a moment to exhale a collective sigh of relief that Mr. Perry is nowhere near the project.) Now, the film is in the very beginning stages, but what we do know is that, as Deadline  put it, “The movie will be set in the 1960s, which gives Johnston a rich and politically charged period to mine.” Because, you know, the 60s is, like, the only politically charged period ever, the 70s was really all about disco, and black people can sit anywhere on the bus now and there’s a black president so they couldn’t possibly update the series. But I digress.

Anyway, since there are very little rumors circulating about the flick, I thought I’d take this morning to issue myself a bit of a Good Times movie challenge. That is, I do what Hollywood seemingly can’t: I cast a non-Tyler Perry, mainstream Hollywood film starring black people without using the names Kerry Washington, Zoe Saldana, and Halle Berry.

Pray for me.

They Came Before Troy Barnes

I just learned about “blerds” and I’m over them already. I got an email with a link to an NPR story about this apparently ascendant set of non-athletic, non-jive talking black folks–mostly men, I guess–who are apparently populating television shows and stand-up stages. It took fewer than 4 minutes, the length of Eric Deggans’ piece, for me to find the (alleged) trend worthy of my very first holiday humbug. According to Deggans’ essay, heretofore black nerds were some sort of weird, non-race-based personification of biraciality, in that being a black nerd was to be caught between what white people expected of blacks and black people’s apparent embarrassment that a member of the race wasn’t unequivocally cool. Deggans goes on to credit Kanye West–yeah, Mr. College Dropout–as the beginning of the “blerd” trend, going as far as willfully ignoring the Carlton Banks (nerd and class) swag Kanye borrowed. To further buttress his claim that he is a black nerd, Mr. Deggans botches interpreting West’s lyrics, which I’m going to assume was just a way of Deggans saying he’s so nerdy he can’t decipher the meaning of West’s rhymes without the help of Rap Genius. 

Kanye West, a rap star give to Argyle sweaters and pouring his heart out on wax, became the hottest thing in hip-hop. Now, raps a tough game, but Kanye can build rhymes around living on pancake batter after his jaw got broken in a car crash or drop references to an M. Night Shyamalan comic book movie. How nerdy is that?

Look around now and blerds are everywhere, intellectual, rock and roll loving, politics talking, comic book reading black nerds.