Willow, the classic fantasy movie from Lucasfilm, is getting a sequel TV series on Disney+. And it seems all the pieces are falling into place. The series entered active development last July with the film’s director, Ron Howard, acting as executive producer. Joining him is Jonathan Kasdan, the film’s screenwriter, who will also write the series. Warwick Davis, who played the titular Willow in the 1988 film, is returning as well. And last November, the production cast three new characters.
However, with production beginning this year, the director behind the pilot episode dropped out earlier this month. John M. Chu, director of Crazy Rich Asians and the upcoming In The Heights, left the project due to a scheduling concern. With his second child due this Summer, the timing didn’t work out.
Willow Disney+ Series Finds New Director
Fortunately, Disney works fast. And a new director has already signed on. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Jonathan Entwistle will now direct the Willow pilot. He previously executive produced The End of the F***ing World for Netflix, for which he also directed a handful of episodes. He co-created, directed, and produced 2020’s I Am Not Okay With This for the streamer as well. In addition to directing the Willow pilot, Entwistle joins Howard, Kasdan, and Wendy Mericle as an executive producer. Entwistle had the following to say:
With its epic world of swords, sorcery and adventure, Willow captivated and influenced so many. 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.”
While the report gives no word on other directors or if Entwistle will helm more episodes, a lot can ride on a pilot. The first episode can set the tone and success for the rest of the series, ensuring viewers stick around. Production will begin in Wales this Spring.