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As far as we know, Star Wars' Lando Calrissian never met Rambo or Rocky, but actors Billy Dee Williams and Sylvester Stallone are old friends. "Old" is relative when it comes to these two -- Sly is 72 and Billy Dee is 81 -- because it's clear they are keeping in pretty good shape. They worked together on the 1981 crime thriller Nighthawks and reunited about 38 years later at the gym. Both actors have major movies coming out later this year -- Sly with Rambo V: Last Blood and Billy Dee with Star Wars: Episode IX. And they both shared the same reunion photo on social media, as well as fond memories of working together on Nighthawks:
Sylvester Stallone and Billy Dee Williams are both known for making plenty of sequels to their respective franchises, so I see no problem with bringing them back for Nighthawks 2. Bring back Lindsay Wagner (who was just on Grey's Anatomy) and the rest of the cast and let's go.
Sly Stallone shared his own photo of the Nighthawks reunion on Instagram, including his memories of how tough the film was to make. At the time, so many years before 9/11, he said it didn't seem feasible to The Powers That Be that the plot followed terrorists attacking New York:
Ran into my old friend BILLY DEE WILLIAMS @therealbillydee at Gunnarâ€™s gym @gunnarfitness !!! I love making NIGHTHAWKS with him. One of my favorite films! .. It was very hard to get made because They thought it was foolish and inconceivable that we would ever have a TERRORIST ATTACK in New Yorkâ€¦WAY Ahead of its time ... . In my personal Top 10 ... Everything was REAL ... No CGI stunts , just real sweat And hopefully, no blood!
In Nighthawks, Sylvester Stallone played Detective Sergeant Deke DaSilva, with Billy Dee Williams as Detective Sergeant Matthew Fox. Here's a look at Sly and Billy Dee in the movie:
That's quite a look, Sly. By that point, Sylvester Stallone had already proven himself with Rocky in 1976, and Rocky II in 1979. He was about to do Rocky III in 1982 and the first Rambo movie, First Blood in 1982. Fast-forward to 2019, and he's fresh off another return as Rocky Balboa in Creed II and preparing to release Rambo V: Last Blood on September 20, 2019.
Billy Dee Williams was even more fresh off success, with his debut as Lando Calrissian coming in The Empire Strikes Back, which had opened in 1980, just a year before Nighthawks opened. You can imagine the filming experiences were quite different. Apparently Nighthawks had a lot of production problems along the way, but it sounds like Billy Dee would've shot the Star Wars movie and Nighthawks back to back. He then returned as Lando in Return of the Jedi in 1983.
Now, nearly 40 years after Lando's debut, Billy Dee Williams is bringing the character he originated back to the big screen in Star Wars: Episode IX. That film will hit theaters December 20, 2019, three months after his buddy Sly's latest movie. Lando reportedly doesn't have a large role in Episode IX, but that doesn't mean he won't be important to the story. Details on that film are being kept under wraps. Meanwhile, Sly is promoting his new Rambo movie across social media. No need for major secrecy there.
As fans wait for those movies to come out -- and wait to see if Sylvester Stallone and Billy Dee Williams decide to reunite on a new movie set instead of just at the gym -- keep up with all the movies heading to theaters this year with our handy 2019 movie schedule.