Warwick Davis is set to reprise his role from the popular 1988 film in the new series, Willow, set up at Disney+. Lucasfilm announced the series and confirmed Davis won’t be the only connection to the original movie. Willow director Ron Howard is on board as executive producer and the film’s screenwriter, Bob Dolman, will serve as a consulting producer.
Crazy Rich Asians‘ Jon M. Chu is attached to direct the series’ pilot from a script by Jonathan Kasdan. Chu will also executive produce along with Kathleen Kennedy, Michelle Rejwan, and showrunners Kasdan (Solo) and Wendy Mericle (Arrow).
“Growing up in the ’80s, Willow has had a profound effect on me,” said 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.”
According to Lucasfilm, the series is set after the events that transpired in the feature film and 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.”
“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,” stated 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.”
Filming is expected to begin next year in Wales where the original movie was shot.
“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,” said 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.”
“This is an exciting new era for storytelling at Lucasfilm,” explained 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+.”