Willow has maintained a cult following ever since its release in 1988. The George Lucas production continues to capture the imaginations of viewers young and old, and it also manages to garner new reappraisal with each passing year. It’s a property that fans have been hoping to revisit for decades. Well, it sounds like they are finally going to get their wish.
Disney+ has announced that a Willow sequel series has received the greenlight. Original director Ron Howard will return as an executive producer on the show and original star Warwick Davis will also be back in the titular role. Crazy Rich Asians director Jon M. Chu will direct the pilot episode and will also act as an executive producer. Jonathan Kasdan (Solo: A Star Wars Story) and Wendy Mericle (Arrow) will be in charge of showrunner duties.
The Willow streaming series will mark the first non-Star Wars project from Lucasfilm since 2015. It is going to be interesting to see what the studio comes up with regarding the realm of fantasy. The original film was certainly aimed at a wide audience across all ages but didn’t shy away from some more frightening elements. With Game of Thrones changing the landscape of what audiences expect from mainstream fantasy projects, will this new television show cater to more modern sensibilities regarding fantasy storytelling?
It is likely that the Willow television series will take some inspiration from what Disney+ has been doing with The Mandalorian. That show has proven to be a subscription-seller for the streaming service, so it would not be surprising to see some episode structures mimic what has been successful about that Star Wars spinoff television series.
Although Warwick Davis will be returning as Willow Ufgood, it also sounds like there will be some brand new characters that will be added to the ensemble in order to expand this particular fantasy world. There has been no mention that any other returning actors from the original film will be making an appearance or not, but we will have to wait and see once production starts ramping up to see if we can expect to see any other familiar faces.
The Willow series is currently scheduled to go into production next year, so we might not be seeing anything from the finished show by 2022. It has not yet been revealed how many episodes have been ordered for the first season of the show, but we are guessing it will also mirror The Mandalorian and a shorter episode order will be revealed. By doing that, the budget on the episodes can be a little higher instead of trying to stretch things out over a larger number of episodes.
If you are a fan of Willow, the idea that you will finally get to revisit this particular universe has to be extremely exciting. It is going to be interesting to see whether or not mainstream audiences are as on board with the upcoming series or not. Let’s hope they find the same passion that has kept this particular film in the hearts and minds of its fans for all these years.