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Lucasfilm Had A Heavy Influence In Disney+'s Willow

Fans of the 1988 film "Willow" have all been highly anticipating Disney+'s series adaptation, which finally premiered on November 30, 2022. Of course, this new series would have never been conjured into existence if it wasn't for the original collaboration between Ron Howard and George Lucas. Despite the original film not coming close to the budgets spent on previous Lucas franchises such as "Star Wars" and "Indiana Jones" (via The Hollywood Reporter), it has now matched one trend that other past blockbusters are currently producing: a new TV series. However, the show's creative process is far from how it was handled back when the film was being made all those years ago. 

The movie "Willow," set in a fantasy world, follows a young farmer (the titular Willow, played by Warwick Davis) who is given the task of trekking across a perilous land to deliver a baby who has the power to destroy an evil queen. This time around, set 30 years later, the TV series has Willow doing his part to help save the world yet again. Creator Jonathan Kasdan explained how today's blooming streaming content helped make this show happen. " ... the real catalyzing moment was when Disney+ was born. Suddenly, there was a place for [Willow] to live," he told THR. However, in this go-around, the creative process in making the series, according to the original film's writer Bob Dolman, was much different compared to making the movie.

The studios now have their hands in the creative process

The new "Willow" series has hit Disney+, and although the fantasy world and many characters remain the same, the original film's writer Bob Dolman explained that there was one major difference between the creation of the movie compared to the new show. That difference is how much the studios had their hands in the process in contrast to the creative freedom Dolman experienced back in the '80s. "It felt that the studio was over our shoulder quite a bit — the studio being Disney and also Lucasfilm," he revealed to The Hollywood Reporter. "They had good input; they had good notes ... But I felt like we weren't left alone enough just to toss ideas around and have the kind of freedom that I had when I was working with George [Lucas] and Ron [Howard]." 

This intrusion isn't much of a surprise. Now that studios are producing these new film-to-streaming-TV adaptations, there is much more focus on how the story can last over multiple seasons, and there are surely people put in place to make sure that happens properly. "There are a lot of voices, and some of them aren't necessarily voices that know more than the people that have been hired," explained Dolman to THR. " ... there was constant input from other sources outside of the room. So it felt to me like we were never really alone in the room." Well, fans surely are hoping that this studio influence hasn't compromised the continuing magical story, and are excited to see the new "Willow."