Warwick Davis is to reprise his role as Willow Ufgood in a new Disney+ sequel to George Lucas’ 1988 fantasy movie, Willow.
The new series is set years after the events of the film and starts production in Wales, where much of the original was shot, next year. The series is Lucasfilm’s first non-Star Wars project since 2015.
“So many fans have asked me over the years if Willow will make a return, and now I’m thrilled to tell them that he will indeed,” said Davis.
“Many have told me they grew up with ‘Willow’ and that the film has influenced how they view heroism in our own world. If Willow Ufgood can represent the heroic potential in all of us, then he is a character I am extremely honored to reprise.”
Ron Howard, director of the original film, returns as executive producer on the series with Bob Dolman, the film’s writer, serving as consulting producer.
Jon M. Chu (In The Heights, Crazy Rich Asians) will direct the pilot and serve as executive producer along with showrunners Jonathan Kasdan (Solo), who also wrote the pilot, and Wendy Mericle (Arrow).
“Growing up in the ’80s, ‘Willow’ has had a profound effect on me,” said Chu.
“The story of the bravest heroes in the least likely places allowed me, an Asian-American kid growing up in a Chinese restaurant looking to go to Hollywood, to believe in the power of our own will, determination and of course, inner magic.
“So the fact that I get to work with my heroes from Kathleen Kennedy to Ron Howard is bigger than a dream come-true.
“It’s a bucket-list moment for me. Jon Kasdan and Wendy Mericle have added such groundbreaking new characters and delightful surprises to this timeless story that I can’t wait for the world to come along on this epic journey with us.”
Howard said: “It’s creatively exciting to not only revisit the world and characters first conceived by George Lucas, Bob Dolman and myself but to see it take flight in such fresh, fun and cinematic ways through the imagination of Jon Kasdan and Team Willow.
“This isn’t a nostalgic throw-back, it’s a creative lean-forward and it’s a blast to be a part of it all.”
Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy said: “This is an exciting new era for storytelling at Lucasfilm. Jon Chu’s vision, coupled with the writing of Jon Kasdan and Wendy Mericle, is going to take Willow into new and exciting directions for the series.
“Reuniting Ron Howard and Warwick Davis in the world of ‘Willow’ is something that they’ve both wanted to do for some time, and I couldn’t be more proud of the incredible team we’ve put together to bring this series to Disney+.”