Disney+ has confirmed a sequel to 1988 George Lucas feature Willow.
Jon M. Chu (In The Heights, Crazy Rich Asians) is set to direct the pilot, and will serve as executive producer along with show runners Jonathan Kasdan (Solo) and Wendy Mericle (Arrow).
“Growing up in the ’80s, Willow has had a profound effect on me,” says Chu. “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.”
Ron Howard, director of the original film, returns as executive producer.
“It’s creatively exciting to not only revisit the world and characters first conceived by George Lucas, Bob Dolman and myself but to see it take flight in such fresh, fun and cinematic ways through the imagination of Jon Kasdan and Team Willow,” says Howard. “This isn’t a nostalgic throw-back, it’s a creative lean-forward and it’s a blast to be a part of it all.”
The series takes place years after the events of the original film. It introduces all-new characters to the enchanted realm of fairy queens and two-headed Eborsisk monsters, and welcomes back Warwick Davis in the title role.
“So many fans have asked me over the years if Willow will make a return, and now I’m thrilled to tell them that he will indeed,” says Davis. “Many have told me they grew up with Willow and that the film has influenced how they view heroism in our own world. If Willow Ufgood can represent the heroic potential in all of us, then he is a character I am extremely honoured to reprise.”
The production plans to return to Wales, where much of the original film was shot, next year.
Kathleen Kennedy, Michelle Rejwan, Jon M. Chu, Jonathan Kasdan, Wendy Mericle, Ron Howard and Imagine Television will serve as executive producers, with Roopesh Parekh and Hannah Friedman as co-executive producers. Additionally, Bob Dolman will serve as consulting producer with Julia Cooperman as producer.