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Willow Disney+ Sequel Series Release Date, Cast And Plot - What We Know So Far

As with anything George Lucas touches, the 1988 film Willow has gathered such a cult following that over 30 years later, the calls from fans to create a sequel series are actually being answered. 

Directed by Ron Howard from a story written by Lucas, Willow became popular for the high fantasy theme it carried, with the Nelwyn dwarf Willow (Warwick Davis) rescuing and safeguarding the infant Elora Danan sought after by the evil Queen Bavmorda (Jean Marsh) after a prophecy predicted the baby would one day overthrow the queen. As with most fantasy stories, the heroes prevailed — keeping the baby girl safe and sound (even with some twists and turns in the road) and dethroning the queen despite her mobilizing an entire army to kill a baby. But fans of the film weren't entirely satisfied with leaving Willow's story there, feeling the dwarf had much more to offer.

Howard revealed in May 2019 that he and his Solo: A Star Wars Story screenwriter Jon Kasdan were "in discussions about developing a Willow television show for the Disney+," the streaming service home to the works of Disney, Lucasfilm, Marvel Studios, and more. As Howard explained, Kasdan "kept hounding" him about Willow during the duration of Solo's shoot — and before long, both Howard and Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy were convinced Kasdan's "inspired take" on the property was a good idea for a series.

Then, in January 2020, Kasdan took to Twitter with a photo of a bulletin board, which had pinned to it a blue and white cap with drawing of Willow on it. He captioned the image, "The office is open," signaling that work had begun on the Disney+ Willow show. By October 2020, reports that the Willow series was officially a go at Disney+ were surfacing.

It's still early days for the Willow sequel series, but there are a few details out there. Here's what we know so far about the project.

What's the release date for the Willow sequel series?

For a while, things on the "when is the Willows sequel series premiering?" front were rather quiet, but that changed during the 2020 Disney Investor Day event. On December 10, it was confirmed that the show will hit Disney+ sometime in 2022. 

Though we're still in the dark on a month and day that the show will grace our television and laptop screens, but knowing that they'll be able to dive back into the world of Willow potentially just a year and change from the time of this update (December 2020) should be comforting to fans.

Who's in the cast of the Willow sequel series?

During a May 2019 appearance on MTV's Happy Sad Confused podcast (via Twitter), hosted by Josh Horowitz, Howard confirmed that original Willow star Warwick Davis will reprise his role as the kind-hearted farmer and aspiring sorcerer Willow Ufgood. "Warwick will be in it," said Howard. "Warwick is so cool and he's such a good actor that I really hope we get the chance to see the mature Willow in action."

The original film saw the likes of Val Kilmer starring alongside Davis, taking on the role of Madmartigan, the swordsman who aids Willow on his quest to keep Elora from Queen Bavmorda. Other members of the Willow cast included Joanne Whalley as Bavmorda's daughter Sorsha, Patricia Hayes as the cursed sorceress Fin Raziel, Billy Barty as the Nelwyn wizard the High Aldwin, Pat Roach as the high commander of Bavmorda's army General Kael, Gavan O'Herlihy as military commander Airk Thaughbaer, and David J. Steinberg as Meegosh, a close friend of Willow's who joins him and Madmartigan during their journey. 

Unfortunately, given the 32 years that have passed since the film released, some of those actors have since died. For others, their return seems highly unlikely given their fate in the movie. Whether or not any of the remaining cast members will be making a return to the Willow sequel series hasn't been confirmed, but two who could definitely make a comeback are Kilmer and Whalley, whose characters were alive and well at the end of the film.

What's the plot of the Willow sequel series?

As for the plot of the Willow series, Howard has suggested that with Davis returning as the titular character, fans will get to see a "more mature" side to the hero. The sequel series will take place approximately 30 years on from the timeline of the movie, and Howard indicated on the Happy Sad Confused podcast that the show will be a "continuation" of the movie. The end of the film saw Willow obtain a magic book that would help him on his journey to becoming a sorcerer after so bravely protecting the baby from the Queen and all her evil forces. Hopefully fans will get to see Willow as a sorcerer on the upcoming series — using his powers for good, of course.

Whether or not we get to see a grown-up Elora Danan, the baby princess from the film who was destined to overthrow the Queen and become the future empress of Tir Asleen, could also be a possibility — although here's hoping she doesn't need anymore rescuing from evil queens. It's with Elora that Kilmer and Whalley could make a return, as the couple moved to Tir Asleen to raise the baby girl at the conclusion of the film. Given their close relationship with Willow by the end of the movie, it would make sense for them to have continued their friendship. Now to convince them to get on board the Willow series.