Scoop: Billy Dee Williams On What He Knows About Star Wars VII
I had the opportunity to check out Fanboy Expo in Knoxville, Tennessee today. There were a lot of great guests on hand to talk to and sign things for fans. There were also a couple of interesting panels. One of those panels featured Billy Dee Williams. The Q&A session was dedicated entirely to Williams’ career and fans asked him about everything from playing Harvey Dent to how he got into art. Williams is quite the artist, and he spent some time talking about his paintings. Of course a few Star Wars questions came up. I was even able to ask one of the two questions relating to Star Wars VII. Williams was very open about what he did and didn’t know. He reiterated a few things, but he also debunked some things we thought we knew.
Billy Dee Williams talked about how he was honored that Lando is still so popular all these years later and that it will be a big part of his legacy. He promised that as long as he’s got a voice, he’ll keep Lando alive. Williams said he loves doing shows like Family Guy, Robot Chicken, and an upcoming Star Wars LEGO project where he gets to revisit the character, even if it is just with his voice. When asked specifically about Star Wars VII, Williams revealed that neither the house of mouse or JJ Abrams have approached him or said anything to him about coming back. He was sure to point out that he’d love to come back and would jump at the opportunity, but he hasn’t heard anything as of today. I asked if he had talked to Harrison Ford, Mark Hamill, or Carrie Fisher since Abrams was announced as the director so they could compare notes or see who knows what, but he said that he hasn’t spoke to any of the original cast members since all the Episode 7 news. Williams did appear alongside Abrams and William Shatner on Jimmy Kimmel Live, but he said he never really got the chance to talk to the director outside of the skit (which you can see below)
It was around this time that Coolwaters president Derek Maki jumped in. Maki pointed fans to Williams Facebook page and said that if fans wanted to see Williams or any of the other original cast in Episode 7, they need to make a lot of noise on social media sites and get hold of Abrams, Bad Robot, and everyone else they could. Coolwaters manages a number of celebrities and is who convention runners have to talk to if they want to get big named talent to come to their conventions. Maki is personal friends with most of the companies clients. Their client list has included Harrison Ford, Williams, Mark Hamill, and several other of the actors and crew from the original trilogy. Maki said that none of the other four actors (referring to Williams, Hamill, Ford, and Fisher) have signed contracts and that most all of what we’re hearing is purely rumors. Now this could be Williams and company playing hardball and not revealing everything to fans, or he and the others really haven’t heard too much. There has definitely been a lot of noise made for the original cast to appear. Maybe Williams just isn’t in the loop or it all has just been rumors so far. What do you think?
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