Willow: Joanne Whalley on "Older and Wiser" (and Now Queen) Sorsha

After this month's D23 Expo 2022, it would be pretty safe to say that fans of the upcoming series sequel to George Lucas and Ron Howard's 1988 film Willow are counting the days down until its November 30th premiere on Disney+. Along with a cast of promising new characters, the series also sees Warwick Davis returning as Willow Ufgood and Joanne Whalley returning as Sorsha. With a little more than two months to go, Whalley is offering fans some intel on what they can expect from the redeemed fan favorite (especially now that she's a queen). "What I loved about her, in the beginning, is that she was a combination of contradictions, as we all are, in that she was quite fierce and capable and strong and vulnerable and romantic. We're whole human beings. Sorsha as an older person is still a combination of those things," Whalley shared during a recent interview with EW. "Now, she has children of her own and has responsibilities that have fallen to her in the way of inheriting her mother's title and all that goes with it. [She has a] sense of social responsibility and leadership and justice, but she's still a mum who's a bit corny sometimes. She's still got a romantic side."

Image: Willow Trailer Screencap

"She's older and wiser. She's carrying the weight of the world on her shoulders, and she is struggling under that burden. There are things looming for the people as a whole. There's stuff in her family relationships that are proving difficult. There's something she might not have been completely straightforward about [in terms of] the level of honesty between her and her kids. When you're the carer, when you're the person in charge and responsible for everyone, you can't share everything. They have no one to rely on if they think you're going to crumble. You have to carry it and carry it for everyone," Whalley shared when asked to describe at what point Sorsha is in her life when we revisit her.

"She's a little world-weary, and there's stuff coming up that she can see where it's going that she has anxiety and fear about, but she's going to deal with things as best she can," Whalley continued. "She doesn't have an easy life. It's difficult when you need to be seen as the parent, the one who's in charge, who keeps the world safe and strong — when you start to show them it's a choice when you start to show them that actually, you're human and you're vulnerable just like they are. Because they're not always prepared to accept that. It's a tricky place that I think a lot of people find themselves in. You have to make compromises. It can be a burden. That's where we find her."

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.

Set to focus on the group's mission to save a prince, the series also features Ellie Bamber's (Nocturnal Animals) Dove, an unassuming kitchen maid who proves that she is the "chosen one" as she embarks on the journey. Ruby Cruz's (Castle Rock) Kit is the princess whose twin brother was abducted, destined to be a leader and ultimately the queen. Erin Kellyman's (Solo) Jade is a servant who is also Kit's best friend and moral compass- and on her way to becoming the best young warrior in the kingdom. Amar Chadha-Patel (Doom: Annihilation) plays Boorman, a thief & liar who joins the quest in exchange for getting out of prison. Christian Slater (Mr. Robot), Tony Revolori ("Spider-Man" films), Dempsey Bryk (The Birch, Heartland), Talisa Garcia (Baptiste), and Rosabell Laurenti Sellers (Game of Thrones) also star.

So with the series set to hit the streamer on November 30th, here's a look at the video featuring the cast of Disney+ & Lucasfilm's Willow that was released last year:

Original film writer Bob Dolman serves as a consulting producer, with Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy and Michelle Rejwan executive producing. Howard's Imagine Television will produce, with Roopesh Parekh and Hannah Friedman serving as co-executive producers on behalf of the company; Julia Cooperman will produce. While far from a box office failure, the Davis-Val Kilmer (Heat) starrer would earn only $110M on a $35M budget. At a time when budgets for films were nowhere close to where they are today, a $35M investment was expected to yield deeper profits than Willow earned. There's still no word on if the new series will utilize George Lucas and Uncanny X-Men writer Chris Claremont's trilogy of novels as source material for the pilot: 1995's Shadow Moon, 1996's Shadow Dawn, and 1999's Shadow Star. Series producing director Stephen Woolfenden (Outlander) directed the first two episodes.

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Ray FlookAbout Ray Flook

Serving as Television Editor since 2018, Ray began five years earlier as a contributing writer/photographer before being brought onto the core BC team in 2017.
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