As Disney+ began laying the groundwork for its debut in 2019, promises of a sequel series to the 1988 fantasy adventure film Willow were kicked about, and now, that day has finally come. Disney+ has officially confirmed that the series is a go for the streaming platform with original Willow director Ron Howard serving as executive producer and Warwick Davis reprising the title role of Willow Ufgood. Crazy Rich Asians director John M. Chu will direct the pilot, and he’s especially stoked to dive into the world of the classic film that he loved as child. Via Variety:
“Growing up in the’80s, ‘Willow’ has had a profound effect on me,” said Chu in a statement. “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.”
Based on Variety‘s reporting, the Willow series seems to be lining up with the description Howard gave to the Happy Sad Confused podcast from May 2019. “I think it’d be a great way to go,” Howard said. “In fact, George always talked about the possibility of a Willow series, and it’d be great and more intimate, and built around that character and some of the others. And Jon Kasdan has, I think, an inspired take on it and it could be really, really cool.”
As Star Wars fans now know, a similar approach was taken for The Mandalorian, which launched later that year, and I think we all know how that turned out: Awesome.