Disney has confirmed Willow the TV series is officially happening. The show will serve as a direct sequel to producer George Lucas’ 1988 classic with original director Ron Howard returning to produce and Warwick Davis returns as Willow.
Warwick Davis says: “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.”
The series takes place years after the events of the original film, introduces all-new characters to the enchanted realm of fairy queens and two-headed Eborsisk monsters, and welcomes back its namesake hero, Willow Ufgood (Warwick Davis).
Howard says: “It’s creatively exciting to not only revisit the world and characters first conceived by George Lucas, Bob Dolman and myself but to see it take flight in such fresh, fun and cinematic ways through the imagination of Jon Kasdan and Team Willow. This isn’t a nostalgic throw-back, it’s a creative lean-forward and it’s a blast to be a part of it all.”
Jon M. Chu (G.I. Joe Retaliation) will direct the pilot and serve as executive producer with showrunners Jonathan Kasdan (Solo) and Wendy Mericle (Arrow).
Chu says: “Willow has had a profound effect on me. 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.”
Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy added: “This is an exciting new era for storytelling at Lucasfilm. 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. Reuniting Ron Howard and Warwick Davis in the world of Willow is something that they’ve both wanted to do for some time, and I couldn’t be more proud of the incredible team we’ve put together to bring this series to Disney+.”
Kathleen Kennedy, Michelle Rejwan, Jon M. Chu, Jonathan Kasdan, Wendy Mericle, Ron Howard and Imagine Television will serve as executive producers, with Roopesh Parekh and Hannah Friedman as co-executive producers. Additionally, Bob Dolman, writer of the original film will serve as a consulting producer.
The Disney+ series begins shooting next year, returning to “the dramatic and enchanted” landscapes of Wales, where much of the original film was shot. Jonathan Kasdan wrote the pilot which will hit Disney+ sometime in the future. We’ll keep you posted. Stay tuned.