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Disney confirms ‘Willow’ sequel series

By Kara Santos Published Nov 08, 2020 4:02 pm

Get ready for a magical world of epic fantasy adventure set in an age of swords, sorcery, myths and monsters. 

Disney has confirmed that they are moving forward with a series sequel for George Lucas cult-hit dark fantasy Willow, with original star Warwick Davis reprising his role, and original director Ron Howard serving as executive producer.

According to Howard, the series will not just be a nostalgic throw-back, but a creative forward-looking adaptation. The series plans to revisit the well-loved world and characters in "fresh, fun and cinematic ways."

The sequel series is set to take place years after the events of the original film and introduce all-new characters to the "magical realm of fairy queens and two-headed Eborsisk monsters." 

The Willow series on Disney Plus, which is slated to begin production next year, marks Lucasfilm’s first venture into non-Star Wars storytelling since 2015.

The original film released in 1988 stars Warwick Davis as Willow Ufgood, a Nelwyn dwarf and aspiring sorcerer who plays a critical role in protecting a special infant (Elora Danan) from an evil queen who vows to destroy her and take over the world.

The original film also stars Val Kilmer as Madmartigan, a mercenary swordwman; Joanne Whalley as the warrior princess Sorsha, and Jean Marsh as Queen Bavmorda, a powerful black sorceress and mother of Sorsha.

Check out the classic trailer when it was released on HD in Blu-Ray here:

“So many fans have asked me over the years if Willow will make a return, and now I’m thrilled to tell them that he will indeed,” said Davis in a statement. “Many have told me they grew up with ‘Willow’ and that the film has influenced how they view heroism in our own world. If Willow Ufgood can represent the heroic potential in all of us, then he is a character I am extremely honored to reprise.”

In a press release, Lucasfilm announced that the series had tapped Crazy Rich Asians and In the Heights director Jon M. Chu to helm the pilot and serve as executive producer. Jonathan Kasdan (Solo) and Wendy Mericle (Arrow) will serve as showrunners.

“Growing up in the’80s, ‘Willow’ has had a profound effect on me,” said Chu in a statement. “The story of the bravest heroes in the least likely places allowed me, an Asian-American kid growing up in a Chinese restaurant looking to go to Hollywood, to believe in the power of our own will, determination and of course, inner magic. So the fact that I get to work with my heroes from Kathleen Kennedy to Ron Howard is bigger than a dream come-true. It’s a bucket-list moment for me. Jon Kasdan and Wendy Mericle have added such groundbreaking new characters and delightful surprises to this timeless story that I can’t wait for the world to come along on this epic journey with us.”

Chu, who named his daughter Willow after the film, took to Twitter to share the news.

According to Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy, "Jon Chu's vision, coupled with the writing of Jon Kasdan and Wendy Mericle, is going to take Willow into new and exciting directions for the series." 

Film production for the series is set to take place in Wales, where the original film was shot.

(Image fom Disney Plus)