'Willow' reboot series confirmed for Disney+ with Warwick Davis

Warwick Davis in Willow (Credit: Lucasfilm)
Warwick Davis in Willow (Credit: Lucasfilm)

Warwick Davis is to reprise his role as the sorcerer Willow Ufgood in a reboot series for Disney+ of the 1988 fantasy movie Willow.

Jon M. Chu, the director of Crazy Rich Asians, will helm the project, with original director Ron Howard confirmed as an executive producer.

Both Howard and Davis had teased that the project was in development last year, but now it's been officially green-lit for the new Disney streaming platform.

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Production will begin next year in Wales, where much of the original movie was made, with Solo: A Star Wars Story writer Jonathan Kasdan and Arrow's Wendy Mericle also on board as showrunners.

“Growing up in the’80s, Willow has had a profound effect on me,” said Chu in a statement.

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“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.

American actor and director Ron Howard, actor Dawn Downing, American director and producer George Lucas, and British actor Warwick Davis discuss a scene on the set of the fantasy feature film, 'Willow,' 1988. (Photo by Lucasfilm/MGM/Courtesy of Getty Images)
Ron Howard, Dawn Downing, George Lucas, and Warwick Davis discuss a scene on the set of Willow, 1988 (Credit: Lucasfilm/MGM/Courtesy of Getty Images)

“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.”

Davis added: “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.

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“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 original movie was penned by George Lucas, and released in 1988.

"Willow director Ron Howard, left, at Central Park's Tavern on the Green with cast members Joanne Whalley, top, Val Kilmer, right, and Warwick Davis, seated May 09, 1988. (Photo by Dan Brinzac/New York Post Archives /(c) NYP Holdings, Inc. via Getty Images)"
Ron Howard at Central Park's Tavern on the Green with Willow cast members Joanne Whalley, Val Kilmer and Warwick Davis (Credit: Dan Brinzac/New York Post Archives via Getty Images)

It found Davis, who had worked with Lucas in the Star Wars movies, playing the aspiring sorceror Willow, who is tasked with protecting the child of a prophesy from the evil Queen Bavmorda.

He is assisted by a mercenary, Madmartigan, played by Val Kilmer, with Joanne Whalley (who would later marry Kilmer) playing Sorsha, Bavmorda's daughter who turns against her evil mother.

Though it barely came close to the box office success of the Star Wars movies, it became something of a fantasy cult classic instead.

The series will be the first Lucasfilm non-Star Wars project since 2015, when it released the box office bomb Strange Magic.

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