Just a few weeks after the departure of Jon M. Chu (In The Heights) from the position, Disney+’s Willow series has found a new director in I Am Not Okay With This co-creator and The End of the F***ing World director Jonathan Entwistle, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
“With its epic world of swords, sorcery and adventure, Willow captivated and influenced so many,” Entwistle said in a statement. “I’m excited to be going on this journey and working with Jon and Wendy to create something that is both deeply rooted in that original film and also a fresh, funny and charming addition to the beloved story. To be able to play within the world so painstakingly crafted by Ron back in ’88 is a dream come true for me.“
Penned by Jonathan Kasdan (Solo: A Star Wars Story) and showrun by Kasdan and Wendy Mericle (Arrow), the series will take place years after the events of the original film and will introduce all-new characters to the enchanted realm of fairy queens and two-headed Eborsisk monsters, while also welcoming back its titular hero, Willow Ufgood, with Warwick Davis set to reprise the role.
Cast members also include Erin Kellyman (Solo: A Star Wars Story, Raised by Wolves, Life), Cailee Spaeny (The Craft: Legacy, Bad Times at the El Royale, Devs), and Ellie Bamber (High Resolution, Nocturnal Animals, Les Misérables).
The series “revolves around a group on a mission to save a kidnapped prince. The members of the team include Dove (Bamber), whose backstory resembles that of Willow from the movie. Dove is an unassuming kitchen maid who proves that she is the “chosen one” as she embarks on the journey. She is joined by Kit (Spaeny), the princess whose twin brother was abducted. She is destined to be a leader and ultimately the queen. Kellyman plays Jade, a servant who is Kit’s best friend and moral compass. She is on her way to becoming the best young warrior in the kingdom. Also part of the group is a guy who echoes Val Kilmer’s character in the movie. A thief and liar, he joins the quest in exchange for getting out of prison.”
Kasdan, Mericle, Ron Howard, Lucasfilm’s Kathleen Kennedy, Michelle Rejwan, and Imagine Television will executive produce, while Roopesh Parekh and Hannah Friedman will serve as co-executive producers. Original screenwriter Bob Dolman is also set to serve as consulting producer on the series.
The series will also mark Lucasfilm’s first venture into non-Star Wars storytelling since 2015 after the critically and commercially unsuccessful fantasy animated adventure Strange Magic, which was based on a story from its titular founder that took over 15 years to bring to the screen.
While an exact production start date has yet to be announced, Willow is eyeing to return to the landscapes of Wales for shooting after filming there in the source material this spring.
(Photo Credit: Charley Gallay/Getty Images for Netflix)