While production continues on Disney+ and Lucasfilm's upcoming live-action follow-up to the 1988 fantasy film Willow, Deadline Hollywood is reporting exclusively that Ruby Cruz (Castle Rock) has been tapped for the female co-lead role of Kit. After what was referred to as an "extensive recasting process," Cruz was hired to replace Cailee Spaeny, who was originally cast in the role. 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. Cruz's 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. Tony Revolori ("Spider-Man" film franchise) is reportedly playing 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.