As production continues on Disney+ and Lucasfilm's fantasy sequel series adaptation of the 1988 film Willow, it turns out there's been another change in the pilot's director chair. In January of this tear, Jonathan Entwistle was announced as replacing Jon M. Chu, who was forced to step down over scheduling conflicts. Now it turns out Entwistle also left the project in April over a production schedule change to recast a lead that conflicted with his work on Apple TV+'s Billy Crudup-starring Hello Tomorrow. Series producing director Stephen Woolfenden (Outlander) was able to step in to shoot the first two episodes (now completed).
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. 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. 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.
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