In an alternate universe, Ron Howard‘s 1988 fantasy epic Willow, from a story by George Lucas, went on to enjoy a billion-dollar franchise full of film trilogies, spin-offs, TV shows, and the like. Unfortunately, it was not to be in our own universe, at least not yet. With the impending arrival of Disney’s streaming service Disney+ and all the branded content that platform promises, the tale of the Nelwyn Willow Ufgood may yet continue.
In a chat with MTV’s Josh Horowitz for the “Happy Sad Confused” podcast, Howard talked about the discussions taking place behind the scenes that would bring Willow to Disney+. Though Lucas has always seen the potential of telling more Willow stories, with more of a traditional fantasy focus than his more famous space saga, the recent talks started during Howard’s work on Solo: A Star Wars Story. During the shoot, screenwriter Jonathan Kasdan began peppering both Howard and Lucasfilm boss Kathleen Kennedy with questions about more Willow stories. Additionally, Howard confirmed that, as it stands now, a Disney+ Willow project would be a continuation, not a reboot, and that Warwick Davis would star in it as “a mature Willow in action.” Sign me up!
Here’s the soundbite in question:
DISNEY+ is developing a WILLOW series based on a pitch by @JonKasdan. It's a continuation and would feature @WarwickADavis. Straight from @RealRonHoward's mouth to a greenlight please!!! You in, @valkilmer? pic.twitter.com/az4NZllEYf
— Josh Horowitz (@joshuahorowitz) May 1, 2019
Here’s what Howard said about the level of discussions, verbatim:
“There are some really serious discussions going on with Jon Kasdan, who was one of the writers of ‘Solo,’ who kept hounding me about ‘Willow’ the whole time we were shooting and also hounding Kathy Kennedy. We’re in discussions about developing a ‘Willow’ television show for the Disney+. And I think it’d be a great way to go.
In fact, George [Lucas] always talked about the possibility of a ‘Willow’ series, which he felt innately would be great, 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. Fingers crossed.”
Would you like to see a continuation of Willow? Personally, I think it’d be a great career capper for Davis but also give other dwarf/Little Person actors a chance to take the lead in a high-profile project for once. Lucas supposedly came up with the story of Willow with Davis in mind for the title role after established himself in Star Wars: Return of the Jedi. It’d be wonderful to see the current generation of dwarf/Little People actors get the same opportunity to shine.