Lucasfilm’s fan favorite movie “Willow” premiered 30 years ago this week and now we’re hearing what might the strongest signals that a sequel could be on the way. Willow is now part of the Disney library since the Mouse bought the company George Lucas started.
The news came during the promotion for ‘Solo: A Star Wars Story” when the director Ron Howard, who also the directed ‘Willow,’ said that he’d not only be open to the idea, but that he has an idea or two for the story too.
The 1998 movie was Lucas’ attempt to break into the epic fantasy genre. He hired big names both in front of and behind the camera. In addition to Howard, Val Kilmer played the mercenary Madmartigan, Jean Marsh was the evil queen Queen Bavmordas, and Joanne Whalley was the warrior Sorsha.
The story followed Willow (Warwick Davis) who was charged with helping an infant named Elora Danan fulfill a prophesy and depose the evil sorceress Queen Bavmorda. Along the way he had help from the warrior Madmartigan, the queen’s daughter Sorsha, some frequently confused brownies, not to mention an Madmartigan’s army.
Howard revealed his idea for the sequel in an interview with Comic Book.
“I don’t want to give away too much, but there is a little talk of Willow … We wouldn’t call it Willow 2, I think it would focus a lot on Elora Danan, although Willow would have to be significantly involved,” said Howard.
“I thought about that movie a lot as I was working on Solo because there are certain scenes, especially around some of the Madmartigan stuff, was reminiscent of a character with that kind of swagger and bravado. And also some of the humor around some of the action in Willow was something I inspired [sic] to get into Solo.”
The purchase of Lucasfilm by Disney was a brilliant move just for its two largest properties – Star Wars and Indiana Jones (both huge merchandise franchises too). But I always thought that some of the more minor properties like Willow have great potential for new franchises of their own.
The original run of Willow did okay at the box office, but general consensus is it under-performed. Since the home video release, however, Willow has developed a bit of a cult following. I’ve been hoping for a sequel, even giving the movie post a place of honor in our house.
In the mid-2000s Lucas was said to be exploring a potential TV series featuring Warwick Davis as Willow. But it never materialized.
I think there is plenty of opportunity for a sequel to the beloved film. The film could pick up 20 or so years later. Elora Danan has grown into her role as Queen of the kingdom, but there is a looming threat from an outside invader and an internal threat being sewn by an unseen force. Is it the return of Bavmorda? Has Willow learned enough to stop the forces of evil?
I’m not getting my hopes up as Howard says they’re still just talking about a possible sequel. But if enough fans get excited about it, maybe Disney will give the idea a green light! I’m sure they’ll want to keep Howard happy after he saved their bacon taking over the director’s chair for “Solo: A Star Wars Story.”
Would you go see a sequel to Willow if it came to a cinema near you?