Solo: A Star Wars Story may have bombed at the box office and caused Disney to lose out on a whole lot of money, but one good thing to come out of the prequel’s failure is that it inadvertently gave rise to the upcoming Willow series on the Mouse House’s streaming service after director Ron Howard and star Warwick Davis were reunited on set.
Han Solo’s origin story was written by Jonathan Kasdan, who will also script the aforementioned show, with G.I. Joe: Retaliation‘s Jon M. Chu on board to direct. And while Howard might not be stepping behind the camera, he’ll be heavily involved in the creative process and development of the project given his role as executive producer and long association with the source material.
In a recent interview, Davis revealed how the series initially came together in the first place, admitting that it was a coincidental turn of events that would have never happened had Kathleen Kennedy not fired original Solo directors Phil Lord and Christopher Miller.
“Everything sort of aligned when we did the movie Solo. The writer, Jon Kasdan, was a huge fan of Willow, he grew up watching it and it’s one of the things that inspired him to become a screenwriter. And then Ron Howard came in to direct and Jon mentioned to him that he was a big fan of Willow and that got them talking. And I was on Solo looking a little bit like Willow with my long hair as Weazel, and all these things came together. We took it to Disney and they were as excited as we were about it and greenlit the series.”
As you may’ve heard, Val Kilmer’s been rumored to return as Madmartigan, but nothing has been officially confirmed as of yet. However, Davis admitted that he’d love nothing more than to reunite with the movie’s master swordsman and his onscreen love interest Joanne Whalley to bring the story full circle over 30 years later.
“You know what, it’s weird to be able to talk about it now. It’s something which I never thought I would see happen. I’m hoping that we establish Willow as a very accomplished sorcerer now. I hope he’s been practicing and we get to see him do some real magic, which would be fabulous. And also I’m hoping that we can reunite with Val Kilmer and Joanne Whalley as well.”
Willow might have a reputation as a cult classic, but it still managed to earn over $137 million at the box office and scoop two Academy Award nominations, so there was clearly a big audience at the time. Talk of a sequel has frequently reared its head over the decades as well, and by debuting exclusively on Disney Plus, the follow-up series has the chance to draw in both the nostalgia crowd and an entirely new generation of fans.