Two days after it was reported that Tony Revolori ("Spider-Man" film franchise) was in negotiations for a lead role in Jonathan Kasdan (Solo) and Wendy Mericle's (Arrow) upcoming Disney+ Willow series, THR is reporting exclusively that Jonathan Entwistle (The End of the F***ing World, I Am Not Okay With This) is set to direct the pilot as well as executive-produce- stepping in for Jon M. Chu (Crazy Rich Asians), who had to step away from the project due to scheduling conflicts and a baby on the way. "With its epic world of swords, sorcery, and adventure, Willow captivated and influenced so many," said Entwistle in a statement. "I'm excited to be going on this journey and working with Jon and Wendy to create something that is both deeply rooted in that original film and also a fresh, funny, and charming addition to the beloved story. To be able to play within the world so painstakingly crafted by Ron back in '88 is a dream come true for me."
Reportedly focusing on the group's mission to save a prince, Willow 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. Cailee Spaeny's (The Craft: Legacy) 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. They join Warwick Davis, who is set to return to the role of Willow Ufgood. Revolori would reportedly a character previously referred to as Boorman, "a thief and liar who joins the quest in exchange for getting out of prison."
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.