Series of 80s fantasy classic 'Willow' is being 'seriously discussed' for Disney+, says Ron Howard

Ben Arnold
·Contributor
Willow (Credit: Lucasfilm)
Willow (Credit: Lucasfilm)

Willow, the fantasy classic from 1988 starring Warwick Davis and Val Kilmer, could be set for the series spin-off treatment.

And that’s coming from the horse’s mouth, so to speak.

Ron Howard, who directed the original movie, has said that Jon Kasdan, who wrote Solo: A Star Wars Story (which Howard directed), is in ‘serious discussion’ with Disney+, Disney’s forthcoming streaming platform, to pick it up.

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He told MTV’s Happy Sad Confused podcast: “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 [Lucasfilm boss] 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, who wrote and produced the movie under Lucasfilm] always talked about the possibility of a Willow series, and it’d be great and more intimate, and built around that character and some of the others.

(Credit: Lucasfilm)
(Credit: Lucasfilm)

“And Jon Kasdan has, I think, an inspired take on it and it could be really, really cool.”

And it sounds like Davis is on board too, meaning that it could all be further along than Howard is letting on, who goes on to say that it would centre on a ‘more mature Willow’.

“Warwick will be in it. Warwick is so cool and so good and he’s such a good actor that I really hope we get the chance to see the mature Willow in action,” he added.

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The original movie, released among a wave of 80s fantasy flicks, found Davis’s titular Willow Ufgood, a farmer and would-be conjurer, tasked with protecting an infant child said to be part of a prophecy that would bring about the downfall of evil sorceress Bavmorda, played by British actress Jean Marsh.

Willow is assisted in his travails by a mercenary, Val Kilmer’s vain Madmartigan, and Sorsha, the warrior daughter of Bavmorda who has turned against her mother, played by Joanne Whalley.

Though it wasn’t the kind of vast box office success Lucasfilm was used to – it made $57 million from its $35 million budget – it is fondly remembered, and now has something of a cult following.

Disney+ is set to launch on November 12.