A sequel to Willow has been on the cards for some time, and after several false starts, now appears to finally be happening. Well, almost, anyway. A television series is reportedly planned for Disney Plus, with the production bringing together many of the key players associated with the 1988 original film, including director Ron Howard. And now, the filmmaker has given an update on where things stand with the series’ official status, including location shooting plans.
Although the new Willow project hasn’t yet received an official green light from Disney, some form of production has been underway since the beginning of the year. Howard has confirmed a few of the recent stories about the series as well in an interview at the Edinburgh International Film Festival, commenting as so:
“Well, if I say anything too concrete it’s gonna go viral because anytime I say anything about Willow, people take it all very seriously. I will say that, let’s see … what can I say? It’s still in development. It doesn’t have a green light. Warwick Davis is thrilled by it and if we are lucky enough for it to go, he could come back as Willow.”
More encouragingly for Willow fans, it seems that the production has started scouting filming locations in the UK, with Howard explaining that:
“We are far enough along that, in a very tentative way, locations are beginning to be scouted, and we don’t know where we’re going to shoot, but we have gotten some research photos back from Wales. It’s nice to think about where our old knock bar was, and, again, no idea if we’re gonna get to make the show but we’re having a wonderful time developing the scripts under Jonathan Kasdan, who is leading the charge.”
So, for now it’s probably best to wait for something a little more solid to come out from Disney about the project. Jonathan Kasdan is steering things forward from a screenwriting perspective, having previously worked on Solo: A Star Wars Story, and his time has recently been taken up by the planned Indiana Jones 5. Meanwhile, Howard has a busy slate of productions in development as well. Throw in the general impact of COVID-19 on the industry, and getting to a solid decision by Disney might take longer than anticipated.
However, given the investment by Disney Plus in extending its classic IP, including The Mandalorian, we’d be surprised if they took a pass on extending a movie like Willow that has a loyal fanbase. How exactly the series will continue the story of the film is unclear, but it will almost certainly take place several decades after the original.
For now, we’ll be keeping a close eye on the Willow show and some firmer news from Howard or Disney about their decision to move forward with it, so watch this space for more.