Disney’s Star Wars Celebration kicked off in Anaheim today, and the studio hit the ground running. Lucasfilm gave fans their best look so far at “Willow,” an upcoming Disney+ series based on the 1988 film of the same name. The first teaser reveals a return to the lush fantasy world that George Lucas and Ron Howard created in the original film, albeit with slightly more modern special effects.
The film “Willow” was originally conceived by George Lucas, who brought in Bob Dolman to write the screenplay and hired Ron Howard to direct. Expectations were sky-high when the film was released in 1988, with many expecting it to do for fantasy what “Star Wars” did for science fiction. While it never quite reached those heights, the film has gradually built up a cult following over the years.
When Disney acquired Lucasfilm in 2012, rumors about some kind of “Willow” sequel in the pipeline instantly began swirling. It eventually came to fruition in late 2020, when Disney announced that a sequel series would stream on Disney+.
“Willow” was created by Jonathan Kasdan, who serves as co-showrunner alongside Wendy Mericle. Ron Howard is on board as an executive producer, as is Jon M. Chu, who also directed the first episode. Warwick Davis reprises his role as Willow Ufgood in the series, which is set years after the first film. He’ll be joined by Erin Kellyman, Rosabell Laurenti Sellers, Tony Revolori, Ellie Bamber, Dempsey Bryk, Ruby Cruz, Amar Chadha-Patel, and Talisa Garcia.
Disney’s official synopsis describes the show as “an epic period fantasy series with a modern sensibility set in an enchanted land of breathtaking beauty, ‘Willow’ features a diverse international cast with Jonathan Kasdan, Ron Howard, Wendy Mericle, Kathleen Kennedy, and Michelle Rejwan serving as executive producers. The story began with an aspiring magician from a Nelwyn village and an infant girl destined to unite the realms, who together helped destroy an evil queen and banish the forces of darkness. Now, in a magical world where brownies, sorcerers, trolls, and other mystical creatures flourish, the adventure continues, as an unlikely group of heroes set off on a dangerous quest to places far beyond their home, where they must face their inner demons and come together to save their world.”
“Willow” is set to premiere on Disney+ on November 30, 2022.