As a kid growing up, I absolutely adored Ron Howard and George Lucas‘ Willow (with the screenplay by Bob Dolman), so I’m actually really excited about this news and to see what a TV series could achieve. It’s a bit of a unique fantasy world, and so with all the right people involved, this could be great!
Willow is a fantasy adventure, set in an age of swords, sorcery, myths and monsters, it’ll be coming to Disney+ and production starts next year. Helmed by Jon M. Chu, who’ll direct the pilot, he’ll also serve as an exec producer along with showrunners Jonathan Kasdan (who writes the pilot) and Wendy Mericle.
Chu had this to say about the project:
“Growing up in the ’80s, ‘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.”
Chu directed the excellent Crazy Rich Asians, plus the film adaptation of Lin-Manuel Miranda‘s musical In the Heights, which will be released in June 2021. He’s also set to direct the upcoming pilot of ABC’s Medical Drama Triage. For Willow, Ron Howard returns this time as an executive producer on the series with the aforementioned Bob Dolman serving as consulting producer. Howard added:
“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.”
We’re told that the series will take place years after the events of the original Willow film, introducing new characters to the enchanted realm of fairy queens and two-headed Eborsisk monsters, and (OH YES!) welcoming back Willow Ufgood, performed again by the wonderful Warwick Davis.
He had this to say:
“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.”