Warwick Davis Returns As ‘Willow’ In New Disney+ TV Series

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20 Oct 20

Warwick Davis Returns As ‘Willow’ In New Disney+ TV Series

The legendary Warwick Davis is returning to the magical world of George Lucas’ Willow – the epic fantasy adventure set in an age of swords, sorcery, myths and monsters – as Disney+ announce a brand new tv series is slated to begin production next year.

‘Willow’ was a fantasy adventure followed Warwick Davis as Willow Ufgood, a young farmer and conjurer who discovers a baby girl in a reed basket on a nearby river. What he doesn’t know at the time is the baby is supposed to fulfil a prophecy which would see the downfall of the evil sorceress Queen Bavmorda (Jean Marsh), and had been smuggled away by the midwife to keep her safe… Much to the anger of the queen. With the help of a mercenary Madmartigan (Val Kilmer) and warrior Sorsha (Joanne Whalley), Willow embarks on a quest to take the child to safety.

Jon M. Chu (‘In The Heights’, ‘Crazy Rich Asians’) is set to direct the pilot of the new series, and will serve as executive producer along with showrunners Jonathan Kasdan (‘Solo’), who also wrote the pilot, and Wendy Mericle (‘Arrow’).

“Growing up in the ’80s, ‘Willow’ has had a profound effect on me,” commented 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.”

The new series, which is Lucasfilm’s first venture into non-Star Wars storytelling since 2015, takes place years after the events of the original ‘Willow’ film. It introduces all-new characters to the enchanted realm of fairy queens and two-headed Eborsisk monsters, and welcomes back its namesake hero, Willow Ufgood, performed once again by the unmatchable Warwick Davis.

“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,” adds 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.”

Ron Howard, director of the original “Willow” film, returns as executive producer on the series with Bob Dolman, writer of the original film, serving as consulting 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.”

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.

“This is an exciting new era for storytelling at Lucasfilm,” said Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy. “Jon Chu’s vision, coupled with the writing of Jon Kasdan and Wendy Mericle, is going to take Willow into new and exciting directions for the series. Reuniting Ron Howard and Warwick Davis in the world of ‘Willow’ is something that they’ve both wanted to do for some time, and I couldn’t be more proud of the incredible team we’ve put together to bring this series to Disney+.”

The ‘Willow‘ tv series plans to return to the landscapes of Wales, where much of the original film was shot, when the show goes into production in 2021.