Ron Howard Says There’s “Nothing Nostalgic” About the Willow TV Series

The first exclusive details for the Willow Disney+ TV series are here, thanks to Ron Howard.

Val Kilmer and Warwick David in Willow
Photo: MGM

Willow Ufgood is back!

In a surprise announcement from Disney+ it was revealed that Jon M. Chu (Crazy Rich Asians) alongside Jon Kasdan would be helming a new series expanding on the lore of the classic movie.  

According to the streamer the yet unnamed Disney+ project “takes place years after the events of the original Willow film. It introduces all-new characters to the enchanted realm of fairy queens and two-headed Eborsisk monsters, and welcomes back its namesake hero, Willow Ufgood (Warwick Davies).” 

The  announcement also included this intriguing quote from original Willow director Ron Howard who will return alongside leading man Warwick Davis to executive produce the series, “This isn’t a nostalgic throw-back, it’s a creative lean-forward and it’s a blast to be a part of it all.” 

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So when we sat down with Howard recently to chat about Nickelodeon’s The Astronauts we had to ask him what it all meant. 

While the Oscar-winning director didn’t want to share too much, he made it clear that the show would strike a balance between building on the world that fans love while the new creative minds will be adding something new and vibrant to the lore and the wider Willow universe. 

“Well, when I say future thinking, I’m talking more about the sensibility because it picks up a couple of decades later,” Howard says. “It’s very much grounded in the history, Tir Asleen, and all of that.” 

It sounds like the series will delve into the emotional journeys of the characters at the heart of the story. 

“On a conceptual level, the relationships, the details of the character, it’s a hero’s journey, but the ways in which they’re tested emotionally, who they are, what makes them tick, there’s nothing nostalgic about that,” Howard says. “It’s very relatable in ways that is still entirely consistent with the world that George [Lucas], and then with my help and Bob [Dolman] and others, tried to create.”

Howard is clearly really excited with the direction that the show is taking, especially in regards to how it’s going to expand the universe of the 1988 fantasy movie both narratively and literally. 

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“So I’m really impressed by how organic and honest it is, and yet how interesting and fresh it is as well,” Howard says. ” I don’t want to give too much away, but they definitely explore regions that the movie didn’t and that’s cool. It makes sense and it’s cool.”

We’ll have more on the Disney+ Willow series as it  becomes available.