It was way back in 1988 that George Lucas teamed up with director Ron Howard to create the fantasy-action movie Willow. Since then fans have wanted a Willow 2, and while there were occasionally rumors, it never happened. Now work has finally begun on continuing the story. Instead of being a movie it’s a sequel series on Disney Plus.
The original Willow was a minor success when it opened on May 20, 1988. It opened at #1 but was quickly blasted out of theaters by the one-two box office juggernaut punch of Crocodile Dundee II and Rambo III over Memorial Day Weekend. It went on to become a cult favorite, airing frequently on pay cable and getting heavily rented on VHS.
Willow put director Ron Howard firmly on the path to becoming a household name. It’s safe to say without Willow we wouldn’t have his greater movies like Apollo 13.
In the end, Willow has endured while barely anyone even remembers Crocodile Dundee II unless their grandpa suddenly makes a “that’s not a knife!” joke and everyone stops to ask him what the hell that’s supposed to mean. Crocodile Dundee is culturally irrelevant and Willow isn’t, and that staying power in the face of box office underperformance is why we’re here talking about Willow 2.
The Cast Of Willow 2: The Series
Warwick Davis is likely to return as the titular Willow. Producer Ron Howard confirmed it in an update on the project saying, “Warwick Davis is thrilled by it and if we are lucky enough for it to go, he could come back as Willow.” Basically they just need a greenlight and he’ll be back, and they’ll only get that greenlight when they are finished writing scripts.
The co-lead of the original movie alongside Warwick Davis was Val Kilmer as Madmartigan. Kilmer has had some struggles with his health in recent years but he has been making some tentative forays into acting recently. Rumor has it that he will return for Willow: The Series, but it’s just a rumor for now.
If Kilmer does come back they’ll have to account for the changes to the actor. He’s no longer capable of playing a badass warrior. Don’t be surprised if his role is limited to that of a cameo.
No word yet on who else from the original cast might be involved. Given that Davis and Kilmer are the only main cast members who actually went on to be names, odds are they’ll be the only returnees. Expect the rest of the Willow 2 cast filled out with newbies.
The People Making The Series
Will George Lucas be involved in the series? Probably not. But Willow director Ron Howard is as a producer and the latest on the progress of Willow 2 comes him. Howard says: ““I was in a two-hour story meeting last night… The writer Jon Kasdan is leading the charge. They have a great group of writers, and it’s in very active development. And the scripts are going great. They have to get through the season and budget. There’s no greenlight there yet, but I’m very optimistic about it. I love [Kasdan’s] take on it.”
Maybe it doesn’t have an official green light, but it does sound like they are working on the project and that they’re hoping to get one. Ron Howard continues: “We are far enough along that, in a very tentative way, locations are beginning to be scouted, and we don’t know where we’re going to shoot, but we have gotten some research photos back from Wales. It’s nice to think about where our old knock bar was, and, again, no idea if we’re gonna get to make the show but we’re having a wonderful time developing the scripts under Jonathan Kasdan, who is leading the charge.”
Jon Kasdan is in charge on Willow 2 and he posted this on Twitter to clue fans in that work has begun…
The Plot Of Willow 2
The 1988 movie ended with Willow on track to become a sorcerer, by receiving a magic book. The new Willow series has plenty of room to go somewhere new and magical.