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Disney+, Lucasfilm plant Willow series

Warwick Davis in the original Willow

Disney+ is working with Star Wars producer Lucasfilm on a series based on George Lucas’s 1988 feature film Willow, which will be filmed in Wales with original star Warwick Davis.

The series marks Disney-owned Lucasfilm’s first venture into non-Star Wars storytelling since 2015 and the pilot will be directed by Jon M Chu (In the Heights, Crazy Rich Asians).

Set in an age of swords, sorcery, myths and monsters, the epic fantasy adventure series is slated to begin production next year in Wales, where much of the original film was made.

Chu will serve as executive producer along with showrunners Jonathan Kasdan (Solo), who wrote the pilot, and Wendy Mericle (Arrow).

Ron Howard, director of the original Willow film, returns as an exec producer, while Bob Dolman, the movie’s writer, is working as a consulting producer.

Kathleen Kennedy, Michelle Rejwan and Imagine Television will also serve as exec producers, with Roopesh Parekh and Hannah Friedman as co-exec producers and Julia Cooperman as producer.

The series takes place years after the events of the original Willow film and introduces all-new characters to the enchanted realm of fairy queens and two-headed Eborsisk monsters. It also welcomes back its namesake hero, Willow Ufgood, who will again be played by Davis.

“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.”

Howard added: “This isn’t a nostalgic throwback, it’s a creative lean-forward and it’s a blast to be a part of it all.”

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