Disney+’s “Willow” series exists because its fans and their hearts made it happen
“Willow” can be considered a cult-classic film, with a loyal audience of fans who came to love the movie in time. It’s those fans that brought the new “Willow” series to life on Disney+. One of those fans was Jon Kasdan.
“I came into this as a fan, and Ron [Howard] and Warwick [Davis] came into as the original film’s creators, so I fought for this,” Kasdan said in the series’ virtual press conference. “Can you imagine having people you fan over ask you to help make the thing you all fan over?!”
Some 35 years later, the new “Willow” series is a continuation of where the original film, created by George Lucas, left off. At its center is Willow himself, played by Warwick Davis, who returned to play the titular role again.
“One of the enjoyable things about doing this series was those call-backs to events and things we got to make together,” said Davis. “It was like creating with old friends again.”
While the world and characters may be familiar to those loyal fans of the film, spending money to do a series for a global streaming audience had its caveats. Kasdan mentioned that one of those demands from Disney was to push the story forward for a modern audience.
“It was the challenge of all creative challenges,” Kasdan said. “With every episode, you’re having to walk the line between making it familiar and satisfying and push the story forward that’s surprising and unexpected for everyone.”
Kasdan said that the key to walking that creative tightwire was Warwick Davis himself. “The moment you see him on screen, you suddenly believe that anything new would fit inside this world and bring an authenticity to it,” he said.
Davis added, “I’m grateful that I get to steward such a legacy that started with George [Lucas] and now with Jon [Kasdan] and Ron [Howard] and everyone. Willow is special though I think because of the fans and their connection to the heart of who he is. That’s the connection people need.”