Willow is an American high fantasy adventure television series based on and serving as a sequel to the 1988 film of the same name. Produced by Lucasfilm and Imagine Entertainment, the series was mostly filmed in Wales in April 2021, and premiered on the streaming service Disney+ on November 30, 2022. In March 2023, the series was reportedly canceled after only one season, though Jonathan Kasdan stated that the series was on hiatus.
Discussions about a continuation of the film began as early as 2005, with Warwick Davis reiterating his interest in returning in multiple interviews. During a May 2019 interview with an MTV podcast, Ron Howard, director of the 1988 film, revealed he had been approached by Jonathan Kasdan about rebooting the film as a television series at Disney+.
In October 2020, the series was greenlit, with Jon M. Chu directing the pilot episode and Davis reprising his titular role. Chu would announce that he had to step away from directing duties due to a production delay and personal reasons in January 2021. Later that month, Jonathan Entwistle was hired to replace Chu as director of the pilot, and as executive producer. However, due to production delays as a result of a recasting, Entwistle also exited the series, with Stephen Woolfenden coming in to direct the first two episodes of the series. In March 2023, Disney+ canceled the series after only one season. However, Kasdan took to Twitter declaring that the cast was released from their contracts due to the shifts going on at Disney and that there is hope that the series could still pick up at some point in the future.
Production for the series began in June 2021 in Wales, with Dragon Studios near Llanharan being used as a location. During production, five stages totalling 28,000 square feet were constructed at Dragon Studios. The set for Tir Asleen Castle was built on a six acre lot at Dragon Studios. In addition, a set for the "Immemorial City" was constructed at Dragon Studios, which drew inspiration from Blade Runner 2049. Lucasfilm also built 20 additional buildings around Dragon Studios for the purposes of creature creation, puppeteering work, special effects constructions, and costumes. To comply with local COVID-19 pandemic health and safety guidelines, these buildings were built with substantial space and ventilation.
A trailer of Willow was released at Star Wars Celebration on May 26, 2022. A second trailer and official poster were released at the Disney fan expo D23 on September 10, 2022. The D23 expo also featured a panel consisting of several Willow cast members including Davis and Slater. On November 1 during the Lucca Comics & Games 2022, a part of the first episode and exclusive video clips of the series was shown in world premiere in the presence of actors Ellie Bamber, Erin Kellyman and Amar Chadha-Patel.
According to the streaming aggregator JustWatch, Willow was the 3rd most streamed television series across all platforms in the United States, during the week of December 5, 2022, to December 11, 2022. According Whip Media's TV Time, Willow was the 6th most streamed television series across all platforms in the United States, during the week of December 11, 2022, the 6th during the week of December 18, 2022, the 6th during the week of December 25, 2022, the 5th during the week of January 1, 2023, the 5th during the week of January 8, 2023, and the 6th during the week of January 15, 2023. According to the streaming aggregator Reelgood, Willow was the 6th most streamed program across all platforms in the United States, during the week of December 14, 2022.
The review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes reported an 86% approval rating with an average rating of 7/10, based on 62 critic reviews. The website's critics consensus reads, "Expanding on the saga while leaving plenty of room for callbacks to the original, this series-length sequel should satisfy fans who've been patiently waiting for more Willow." Metacritic, which uses a weighted average, assigned a score of 70 out of 100 based on 22 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews."
Over 30 years since the release of the original Lucasfilm classic, Willow arrives in 2022 as a new episodic series on Disney+. The onetime farmer Willow Ufgood has become a noted sorcerer and encounters a group of young heroes on a dangerous quest. Full of wonders and adventure, the series joins original cast and crew with new contributors to expand the beloved fantasy world.
Jon Kasdan, who created the series and served as showrunner for Season 1, released a statement on his personal Twitter account to contextualize the reports that the show was cancelled. Kasdan explained that the uncertain landscape in the streaming industry will significantly delay production on the show, but it has not been formally axed.
The series is a sequel to the 1988 fantasy film Willow, with Ron Howard as the executive producer alongside Jonathan Kasdan, Wendy Mericle, and Jon M. Chu. Chu directed the series' pilot, with Kasdan and Mericle serving as showrunners, Warwick Davis reprised his role as Willow Ufgood, and Bob Dolman served as a consulting producer.
Over the years, there have been talks of a sequel to Willow. In April 2005, at Star Wars Celebration III, George Lucas and Warwick Davis commented that a television series acting as a sequel was within the realm of possibility. Davis has also expressed interest in a second theatrical installment, and said he has a story idea.
In 2018, during the promotion campaign of Solo: A Star Wars Story, director Ron Howard said that there was "a little talk" of a either a film that would focus a lot on Elora Danan or a TV series.
In January 2020, it was announced that the series would be set several decades after the movie, that it would be written by screenwriter and Lucasfilm collaborator Jonathan Kasdan, and that it would feature Warwick Davis.
Although the series had strong viewership and positive reviews during its first season, it was reported on March 15, 2023 that the series had been cancelled by Disney as they cut back on spending for streaming content.
Afterwards, Jon Kasdan took to Twitter to address the stories announcing Willow's season 2 cancellation, and explained that the show wasn't so much cancelled as put on indefinite hold in light of recent big changes within the streaming industry. It became apparent that Willow season 2 would not begin filming in the next 12 months, therefore the show's lead stars were released from their contracts to allow them to pursue other projects. Kasdan indicated that the episodes for season 2 had been written and that he was confident that the series would continue in the future eventually.
The new Disney+ series Willow, premiering Nov. 30 on the streamer, is based on the 1988 fantasy adventure movie of the same name. In the film, Val Kilmer played the role of hunky swordsman Madmartigan who helped the titular Willow (Warwick Davis) on his epic journey.
Bad news for fans of the Willow series that finally debuted on Disney+ late last year after years in development. The show, which brought Warwick Davis' sorcerer back to screens 35 years after the original movie, has been cancelled by the streaming service.
The newest Disney+ series, Willow, is a sequel to a 1988 Lucasfilm movie of the same name. The movie may not be familiar to audiences, especially those who were not yet born when it came out. Or people may simply not remember the movie despite having watched it more than thirty years ago (completely understandable). It follows N, Willow Ufgood (Warwick David), as he attempts to protect Elora Danan, the baby prophesied to defeat the evil queen Bavmorda (Jean Marsh). But the series takes place years later, following a new generation of characters on their own quest to save the world. With only two episodes released, now is the time to start the series. Willow (the series) is Disney's first attempt to join the fantasy tv craze of the last few years, and it differentiates itself from other shows in the overcrowded genre. While, for the most part, the show has different main characters than the film, the two are not entirely separate. The question on everyone's mind is can the series stand on its own, or is it time to watch (or rewatch) the 1988 film? Sure, one movie isn't a lot to catch up on, but it is more of a commitment than most shows, especially without knowing if it's any good. And some people don't particularly like watching old movies. On the other hand, why start a show if it won't make sense? When choosing where to begin with the world of Willow, there are a few things to consider.
The first thing to note is the characters that overlap. As the name suggests, Willow is the protagonist of the film, and he will play a significant role in the series. Joanne Whalley's character, Sorsha, appears in both the movie and the series as well. The series gives a spotlight to Sorsha's children and their friends, so her life is thoroughly explored. The roles Willow and Sorsha play in the series are different from the film, as the two stories are separated by more than a decade. But the characters will be familiar to those who watch the film. Because of their appearances, the series contains spoilers for these characters' endings in the film, and that's not the only spoilers seen in the series. As is the nature of a sequel, the show builds off the plot of the film. So the events of the film are referenced in the series. It even provides a summary of the film at the beginning. Of course, it cannot explain the entire two-hour film, but it gives the highlights. The series is far from spoiler-free. But it is not reliant on the film for a basic understanding. 041b061a72