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The Willow series on Disney Plus gets its pilot director, other high profile execs

Warwick Davis in the original Willow, released in 1988.
Warwick Davis in the original Willow, released in 1988. (Image credit: WarnerMedia)

Willow forever holds a place in the heart of those of us of a certain age. And in 2021, it'll begin its long journey toward a rebirth on Disney+. The streaming service has announced that it's got a director for the pilot — Jon M. Chu of In the Heights and Crazy Rich Asians — and that it'll begin production next year.

"Growing up in the '80s, Willow has had a profound effect on me,” Chu said in a press release. "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."

The original Willow, starring Val Kilmer and Warwick Davis, was released in 1988. The film was directed by Ron Howard, who will return as an executive producer. Bob Dolman, who wrote the Willow film, will serve as a consulting producer.

The reboot, which is LucasFilm's first non-Star Wars production since 2015, will take place years after the original film. It'll have new characters alongside the return of Davis and Willow Ufgood.

“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,” Davis said in the press release. “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.”

“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,” says 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.”

No release date yet, but stay tuned.