1988’s cult-classic fantasy movie Willow is about to make a return – not to the bigscreen, nor as a feature-length sequel, however as a TV series streaming completely on Disney Plus.
The pilot is about to be directed by Crazy Rich Asians’ John M. Chu, with Warwick Davis set to return within the title position of Willow Ufgood and unique director Ron Howard signed on as govt producer. It will grow to be LucasFilm’s second TV spin-off following the success of The Mandalorian, and the primary non-Star Wars associated undertaking for the corporate in 5 years.
“Growing up in the ’80s, ‘Willow’ has had a profound effect on me,” says Chu.
“The story of the bravest heroes within the least probably locations allowed me, an Asian-American child rising up in a Chinese restaurant wanting to go to Hollywood, to consider within the energy of our personal will, dedication and naturally, internal magic. So the truth that I get to work with my heroes from Kathleen Kennedy to Ron Howard is greater than a dream come-true. It’s a bucket-list second for me.”
Where next for Willow?
According to Ron Howard, the show won’t be “a nostalgic throw-back”, but instead “a artistic lean-forward,” perhaps hinting at audiences’ expectations of fantasy TV making in a post Game of Thrones and The Witcher world.
But Willow was always intended as a more kid-friendly adventure than those modern swords-and-shields hits. It followed wannabe sorcerer Willow (Warwick Davis) who found himself the unlikely hero in a quest to defend baby princess Elora Danan, with a gang of warriors and magical creatures in tow that included Val Kilmer and Joanne Whalley.
With Disney Plus now the Mouse House’s primary focus – or at least until the cinema industry recovers from the Covid-19 pandemic’s impact – it’ll be interesting to see where LucasFilm goes next now it’s turning its attentions away from Star Wars. Labyrinth is set to get a sequel from Doctor Strange director Scott Derrickson, while a long-gestating Indiana Jones sequel is also still floating around. Could they be the next big Disney Plus announcements to follow Willow?