Jon M. Chu tapped to helm Willow series with Davis & Howard returning!
After over a year of back-and-forth word on the potential Disney+ series, it’s now been revealed that a Willow sequel series is officially in the works and has landed Jon M. Chu (Crazy Rich Asians) to helm the pilot with original star Warwick Davis and original director Ron Howard also set to return!
“Growing up in the ’80s, Willow has had a profound effect on me,” Chu said 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.”
Penned by Jonathan Kasdan (Solo: A Star Wars Story) and showrun by Kasdan and Wendy Mericle (Arrow), the series will take place years after the events of the original film and will introduce all-new characters to the enchanted realm of fairy queens and two-headed Eborsisk monsters, while also welcoming back its titular hero, Willow Ufgood, with Davis set to reprise the 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,” Davis said in a statement. “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 honored to reprise.”
In addition to directing the pilot, Chu is attached the serve as executive producer alongside Kasdan, Mericle, Howard, Lucasfillm’s Kathleen Kennedy, Michelle Rejwan and Imagine Television while Roopesh Parekh and Hannah Friedman will serve as co-executive producers. Original screenwriter Bob Dolman is also set to serve as consulting producer on the series.
“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,” Howard said in a statement. “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 will also mark Lucasfilm’s first venture into non-Star Wars storytelling since 2015 after the critically and commercially unsuccessful fantasy animated adventure Strange Magic, which was based on a story from its titular founder that took over 15 years to bring to screen.
“This is an exciting new era for storytelling at Lucasfilm,” Kennedy said in a statement. “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+.”
While a production start date has yet to be announced, Willow is eyeing to return to the landscapes of Wales for shooting after filming there in the source material.
(Photo Credit: Taylor Hill/FilmMagic)