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Disney+ Resurrecting '80s Fantasy Classic 'Willow' As a New Series!

10-20-2020 by Katie Marzullo

  ( © Lucasfilm/Universal Pictures)  


When Disney bought Lucasfilm 7 years ago this month for around eleventy bajillion dollars, it wasn’t just Star Wars that they acquired. The deal included ALL Lucasfilm properties, including a little cult fantasy film from 1988 called Willow, directed by Ron Howard from a story concept by Star Wars mastermind himself, George Lucas.


For those who haven’t seen it -- first of all, remedy that immediately! Secondly, it tells the story of a humble farmer named Willow (played byWarwick Davis) who suddenly finds himself having to protect a baby princess from the clutches of an evil sorceress. Along the way, he encountered all kinds of colorful personalities, including the roguish warrior Madmartigan (Val Kilmer in his hottest role ever, fight me), a race of tiny sprites called Brownies, and the sorceress’s ruthless daughter Sorsha. Willow fancies himself a magician with aspirations of being an honest-to-goodness sorcerer, and he ends up defeating the evil sorceress with a simple parlor trick. Madmartigan and Sorsha fall in love, the baby princess becomes a baby queen, and all is right in the land again!


The entire film is ripe with a ton of world-building, and even at the time it seemed like only the beginning of yet another mega-hit franchise from Lucas. However, that never came to be… until now!




It has just been announced that Disney+ is currently developing a series based on the hit ‘80s film, and the team they have put together to bring it to life gives me hope that it will do Lucas’s original vision justice! OG director Ron Howard will be executive producing the series, while handing the directing reigns over to John M. Chu, the man who has the range to direct both G.I. Joe: Retaliation and Crazy Rich Asians.Willow is a brilliant blend of action-adventure and heart, so putting Chu at the helm is an inspired choice. The pilot was written by Solo screenwriter Jonathan Kasdan, and he will also serve as a showrunner with “Arrow” writer Wendy Mericle. Lucasfilm will be producing the series, which marks their first non-Star Wars project since being bought by Disney.


Best of all, Warwick Davis is slated to return to the role that made him a household name! Prior to Willow, Davis was a staple with Lucasfilm, appearing in Star Wars films in bit roles.Willow, which Davis starred in when he was only 18 years old, allowed him the opportunity to really flex his acting muscles. In the years since, he’s continued to appear in cameo roles inStar Wars films, but he’s perhaps best known these days for his multiple roles in the Harry Potter films, notably Professor Flitwick and the goblin Griphook. As far as I am concerned, he has never gotten the recognition he REALLY deserves, so I am stoked to see him return to the spotlight in this way. Hopefully he will once again be a lead role and not, you know, some kind of mythical figure who only makes sporadic appearances here and there. We Want More Warwick!


It would also be great if Val Kilmer reprised his role as Madmartigan as well. I for one am very curious to know how life with Sorsha turned out, but considering Sorsha was played by Kilmer's real-life ex-wifeJoanne Whalley, that might get a bit awkward...


Stay tuned! In the meantime, you can stream Willow on Disney+!