Willow Series in "Very Active Development," Says Director Ron Howard

It's been some time since we last heard from Willow director Ron Howard about the status of the Disney+ series adaptation. Back in January, the filmmaker confirmed that he and writer Jonathan Kasdan were having "really serious discussions" about a sequel series. While no green light had been given at the time, Howard revealed that Warwick Davis would reprise his role Willow Ufgood if the project moved forward to series. Unfortunately, since that time television productions across the globe were shuttered by a growing pandemic, with some projects only now working out the health and safety details for a return to work.

Willow
A scene from Willow (Image: Disney)

So where does that leave things with Willow? Howard was asked that very question by host Andy Cohen on his Radio Andy show for SiriusXM, and it sounds like things are still pretty good. While still no "thumbs up" to formally move forward to series, Howard says writers are hard at work and early pre-production is underway: "I was in a two-hour story meeting last night. The writer Jon Kasdan is leading the charge. They have a great group of writers and it's in very active development. The scripts are going great. So, they have to get through the season and the budget. And so forth, there's no green light there yet, but I'm very optimistic about it. I love [Kasdan's] take on it."

While far from a box office failure, the Warwick Davis (Return of the Jedi)-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 what 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.

From legendary filmmakers George Lucas and Ron Howard comes a timeless fantasy tale in which heroes comes in all sizes…and adventure is the greatest magic of all. When young Willow Ufgood (Warwick Davis) finds an abandoned baby girl, he learns she is destined to end the reign of the wicked Queen Bavmorda (Jean Marsh). In order to protect the child, Willow must team up with a rogue swordsman (Val Kilmer) and overcome the forces of darkness in the ultimate battle of good versus evil!

About Ray Flook

Serving as Television Editor since 2018, Ray began five years earlier as a contributing writer/photographer before being brought on board as staff in 2017.

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