“Willow” Series for Disney+ Officially Announced! Warwick Davis and Ron Howard Return
Disney+ has just announced a new original series based on George Lucas’ 1988 fantasy adventure film, WILLOW. Production will begin next year on the continuation of the magical realm where heroes come in all shapes and sizes.
“Forget all you know, or think you know.”Willow
A sequel to the George Lucas/Ron Howard 1988 fantasy film, WILLOW, has been battered around for years. The closest we got was the 1995 novel, Shadow Moon, co-written by George Lucas that was a continuation of the film. After Ron Howard worked with Lucasfilm on SOLO: A STAR WARS STORY, he publicly stated that he would like to do the film. WILLOW, while not being a box-office success, was a fan favorite and Ron Howard’s comment spread like wildfire on social media.
That may have helped fan the flames for this new series announcement, Willow.
From the Press Release
BURBANK, Calif. (Oct. 20, 2020) – The magical world of George Lucas’ “Willow,” the epic fantasy adventure set in an age of swords, sorcery, myths and monsters, will be returning in a Disney+ series slated to begin production next year.
Jon M. Chu (“In The Heights,” “Crazy Rich Asians”) is set to direct the pilot, and will serve as executive producer along with showrunners Jonathan Kasdan(“Solo”)and Wendy Mericle (“Arrow”). Jonathan Kasdan wrote the pilot.
“Growing up in the ’80s, ‘Willow’ has had a profound effect on me,” says Chu. “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.”
Chu directed the film adaptation of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s musical “In the Heights,” which will be released in June 2021. He will also direct and serve as executive producer for the pilot of ABC’s Medical Drama “Triage.”
Ron Howard, director of the original “Willow” film, returns as executive producer on the series with Bob Dolman, writer of the original film, serving as consulting producer.
“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,” says Howard.
“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.”Ron Howard
The series, which is Lucasfilm’s first venture into non-Star Wars storytelling since 2015, takes place years after the events of the original “Willow” film. It introduces all-new characters to the enchanted realm of fairy queens and two-headed Eborsisk monsters, and welcomes back its namesake hero, Willow Ufgood, performed once again by the unmatchable Warwick Davis.
“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,” says Davis.
“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.”Warwick Davis
“This is an exciting new era for storytelling at Lucasfilm,” says Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy. “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 will serve as consulting producer with Julia Cooperman as producer.
The production plans to return to the dramatic and enchanted landscapes of Wales, where much of the original film was shot.