Willow Finally Brought Back Its Most Important Star

Star of Willow, Val Kilmer, made a return to the role of Madmartigan as a disembodied voice, with the help of his son, Jack.

By Mark McKee | Published

willow sequel series

Willow is a cult classic film that made stars out of Warwick Davis and Val Kilmer, and nearly 40 years later, the cult following has gotten a sequel series off the ground. Like any good sequel that comes back after a long hiatus, there is a call for a return of all the main characters and original actors, and audiences have been treated with the return of Davis and Joanne Whalley. Episode six of the series, however, brought back perhaps the most important character in Madmartigan, and Movie Web tells us how they made it happen with Val Kilmer. 

In the new episode of Willow, Val Kilmer’s Madmartigan appears in a mysterious vault, only in the form of a voice beckoning his daughter to join him. When she finds her long-lost father’s sword and hears his voice from within, the voice the audience heard was not Val’s alone but also contained that of his son, Jack Kilmer. According to the creator of the film, Jonathan Kasdan, the team gave Jack Kilmer his father’s performance, and he studied it to appear as a stand-in for Val. 

If you have been under a rock for the entirety of 2022, you may have missed that Willow isn’t the only retrace Val Kilmer did of his career, as he also appeared in the summer blockbuster, Top Gun: Maverick alongside Tom Cruise. In the brief appearance, the scene showcases Kilmer’s current state after beating cancer that attacked his throat and left him unable to speak the way he used to. Due to Willow’s 2020 shooting schedule and the dangers of Covid, the team had to find another way to get him involved, and his son Jack was the answer everyone hoped for. 

Val Kilmer as Madmartigan in Willow

Jack Kilmer has a lot to thank Willow for since it is the place where his parents, Val Kilmer and Joanne Whalley, met. The pair met when Willow hit theaters in 1984, playing love interests in the film as Madmartigan and Sorsha, respectively; the two had a marriage following their roles that brought them two children, Jack, and an older sister Mercedes. With Whalley returning as Sorsha in the new series, it has become a family affair. 

Jonathan Kasdan spoke about Willow’s process with Val Kilmer and his son, Jack, and called the younger Kilmer a good friend of the property. He also called the process an emotional and surreal experience due to the fact that he is such an intrinsic part of the franchise. The creator also revealed that Val Kilmer is open to and excited to return to the series on-screen if the opportunity presents itself. 

With Warwick Davis and Joanne Whalley holding down the fort for the original characters of Willow, fans are waiting on pins and needles for Val Kilmer to make his triumphant return. While there will have to be a lot of creative storytelling to make his return possible the way Top Gun and company needed to, there is little doubt they could pull it off. Of course, we will take however much Val Kilmer we can get.