Back in January, we learned that cult classic Willow was getting an upcoming sequel series on Disney+. The 1988 Ron Howard movie boasts a story by George Lucas and after a somewhat rocky release, steadily picked up a dedicated fanbase on home video. Until yesterday, details were thin on the ground, but now the project has been officially unveiled.
Crazy Rich Asians‘ Jon M. Chu is directing, with Solo: A Star Wars Story writer Jon Kasdan and Arrow‘s Wendy Mericle as showrunners and Ron Howard executive producing. Fans will also be delighted that original star Warwick Davis is back as titular character Willow Ufgood.
In an interview with Lucasfilm.com, he revealed how excited he was about returning to the franchise, saying:
“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. 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.”
Beyond that, not much else has been confirmed. There are rumors that Val Kilmer might reprise the role of Madmartigan, though he’d be a very different character from the heroic adventurer we saw in the 1988 movie. He’s recently recovered from throat cancer and undergone procedures which have drastically changed his voice. Despite this, he’s made a return to acting and will next be seen reprising another famous 80s role of his in Top Gun: Maverick, now scheduled for July 2021.
At the moment, we don’t know exactly when the new Willow will be hitting Disney+. Over the summer, Ron Howard said that location scouting had begun and current reports indicate that they expect to shoot in the first half of 2021. If they stick to that schedule (and there’s no COVID-19-induced delays), we may see it in early 2022. Either way, we’ll be hearing more casting news soon, so watch this space.