Willow is one of my all-time favorite films. I remember watching it as a little girl. I was being wowed by the world, the monsters, the story, and of course Val Kilmer. When Disney announced they would be making a series instead of a movie sequel excitement doesn’t even cover it. Making it even more exhilarating, some of the original cast is coming back!
I had a chance to watch the Virtual Press Conference for the upcoming Disney+ Willow series. Joining were cast members Warwick Davis – Willow himself – Ellie Bamber and Tony Revolori, Ruby Cruz, Dempsey Bryk, Erin Kellyman, as well as Amar Chadha. There was also Jon Kasdan, who is the writer as well as Executive Producer.
When watching the junket, you could feel the love, fun, and passion oozing from everyone on the screen. Especially Jon Kasdan who calls Warwick Davis his hero. Warwick, when asked if he ever thought that he would return to Willow he answered, “Certainly not, no, absolutely not”. This is a story that the fans have been begging to have brought back for decades. Now, 35 years later, it’s finally happening.
JON KASDAN AMBUSHES WARWICK DAVIS ON THE SET OF SOLO TO TALK WILLOW
Davis shared a hilarious story about how Jon Kasdan ambushed him on the set of Solo in order to talk about making a Willow sequel! In case you didn’t know, Jon Kasdan wrote Solo: A Star Wars Story. So, it’s not odd that he was there. But he knew this was his chance! However, Warwick Davis wanted to concentrate on filming the movie.
Jon Kasdan, who I understood was also a fan and I wondered…who had let him onto [the] set. You know, no fans allowed here, because he was obsessed, [with] talking about ‘Willow.’ And surely we should be concentrating on making this Star Wars story here, shouldn’t we?
But, Kasdan wasn’t interested in that. “There was the impulse certainly between Ron [Howard] and Warwick [Davis] and myself to continue this story and return to this world. And I came at it as a fan.”
THE CAST WENT THE RIGOROUS TRAINING
In order to keep with the fantasy/realism tone, the majority of stunts in the Willow series are practical. So, the cast had to go through a boot camp of horseback riding, sword fighting, and more! However, this isn’t the only way Jon Kasdan created the tone for this updated Willow series. The new Disney+ Series walks a delicate balance of epic fantasy and contemporary at the same time. This was always a challenge because he knows fans want the world we all know and love, but also wants to give it a facelift for a new audience.
The great weapon we had with us was Warwick, who just lent the whole universe of ‘Willow’ credibility, and the moment you see him on screen, you suddenly believe these six other foolish kids could somehow fit into that world, and really inhabit it. And they did so so beautifully and with such gusto and enthusiasm. And authenticity, that it was sort of an amazing thing to watch all these things come together, and become something that feels like a progression from the movie as much as a love letter to it.Jon Kasdan
Ruby Cruz who plays Kit, Sorsha, and Madmartigan’s daughter, shared that just being on set with Warwick Davis was a lesson in its own right. Watching him work, snapping in and out of the character was really cool. Erin Kellyman who plays Jade adds that Kasdan writes badass women who are multilayered which helps ground the world and get viewers invested in what happens to them and their journey. I would have to agree!
After this press conference, I’m even more excited about the series! Willow streams on Disney+ on November 30, 2022! Watch it!