Long before “Harry Potter” and “The Lord of the Rings” hit the screens, “Willow” was one of the great fantasy films. Now Disney+ is bringing the phenomenon back – but as a series.
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Still a film cult in the 80s, soon to be a series hero in the streaming age: on Disney+ will start the series “Willow” on November 30, 2022 – it continues the film of the same name from 1988 and a first trailer has already revealed information about the plot. The Dwarf Willow (Warwick Davis) has to prove his courage again this time and involuntarily gets caught up in a great adventure. Because when the young prince of the kingdom is kidnapped, “Willow” and his friends make it their mission to save the prince.
Along with Dove (Ellie Bamber), Princess Kit (Cailee Spaeny) and her bodyguard Jade (Erin Kellyman), Willow embarks on the perilous journey. Along the way, he encounters some mystical beings and adversaries.
Stars from Marvel and “Star Wars” join “Willow”.
Disney+ relies on familiar faces for the cast. Warwick Davis, who played the heroic dwarf in the film, is known to many as Professor Flitwick from the Harry Potter films. Also will Tony Revolori to take a part in the series. He is best known for his role as Flash Thompson in the recent Spider-Man films and for his appearance in the grotesque comedy The Grand Budapest Hotel. Fans assume he embodies the character Boorman. The character Boorman was introduced in advance, but officially it is not known who will play it. It is said to be a thief and a liar, who only joins Willow to bring about a release from prison. Parallels can thus be drawn to Val Kilmer’s role in the original film.
But Disney+ and Lucasfilm have also brought familiar faces with Ellie Bamber (“The Snake”), Erin Kellyman (“Solo: A Star Wars Story”) and Cailee Spaeny (“Bad Times at the El Royale”).
Willow: First scorned, then cult film
Ron Howard, who directed the original 1988 film, is also on the project. He was asked by Jonathan Kasdan in 2019 if he was at a Reboot of the film as a series for Disney+ would be there. There were first talks about it in 2005 between him, George Lucas and Warwick Davis. Production of the series started in 2020. The team began filming at Dragon Studios in Wales in March 2021. the Making of “Willow” It wasn’t without problems: Jon M. Chu (“Step Up to the Streets”, “Crazy Rich”) was chosen as director – but he had to resign from the project for personal reasons before shooting began. Now Stephen Woolfenden is the director of the series, he most recently worked on the Netflix production “Fate: The Winx Saga”.
With “Willow”, the Disney group is once again trying to arouse nostalgic feelings with a new edition. The original film, which hit theaters in 1988, was released months before it was released great fantasy event hyped. Probably because the expectations of the film were so high, many viewers were disappointed with it at the time. The screenplay in particular, which was based on a story by “Star Wars” creator George Lucas, once left many fantasy fans wanting. In 1989, the film was even nominated for the “Golden Raspberry” negative award for the screenplay. In the same year, “Willow” was able to collect two “Oscar” nominations – once for “Best Visual Effects” and for “Best Sound Editing”. In the 90s, “Willow” gradually gained its fans on VHS and went down in (film) history as a misunderstood cult film. Today you can stream it – like its series sequel soon – on Disney +.