John M. Chu (Crazy Rich Asians) is set to direct the pilot for a series based on George Lucas’s dark fantasy film Willow. The project is set to move into production next year.
Ron Howard, who directed that original film, will return as an executive producer on the series which will also see the return of Warwick Davis in the titular role alongside a whole host of new characters.. The series is the first foray into non-Star Wars territory for Lucasfilm since 2015.
That film saw Davis as Willow Ufgood a farmer and magician who finds himself on a perilous quest with Madmartigan (Val Kilmer) to protect an infant from the evil Queen Bavmorda (Jean Marsh).
“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.”
“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 added. “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.”
“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,” says 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 honored to reprise.
The production will reportedly film in Wales in the same area where the original film was made so we will be treated to that same essentially magical landscape.
Are you excited for more adventures with Willow Ufgood? Let us know what you think in the comments below!