Quite a few legacy-quels have hit the Disney+ platform in the past couple of months. The 2022 TV schedule has been especially active in this field, as two fan-favorite franchises have been revived through limited series: The Santa Clauses and now Willow. While creators Jon Kasdan and Michelle Rejwan are proud of their place in the streaming lineup, it seems that they have ambitions of bringing this long-dormant world back to theaters.
That much was apparent when I spoke with Kasdan and Rejwan during the Disney+ (opens in new tab) press day for Willow’s recent series debut. At the time of our interview, they were fresh off of a theatrical screening of the first couple of episodes that had taken place in London the night before. Riding high on that wave of joy, Jon Kasdan shared this vision for the future of Willow with CinemaBlend:
Appropriately enough, invoking the names of David Benioff and D.B. Weiss calls to mind the memory of when Game of Thrones held insanely popular IMAX screenings of the final two episodes of Season 4. Based on the remarks made above, Kasdan might be suggesting that Willow could get a similar treatment, with the final installments of this season winding up in theaters at some point.
Of course, that’s one reading on what we’ve seen above. Seeing as it’s been 34 years since Warwick Davis, Val Kilmer, and Joanne Whalley defeated evil in the name of the infant Elora Danan, Willow loyalists have been waiting to see what comes next. On the back of an impressive trailer heralding the return of Davis’ Willow Ulfgood, those feelings couldn’t be stronger.
Should this new Disney+ series be popular enough, there’s definitely room for movies to bridge the seasons that lie ahead, almost like the model once intended to bring Stephen King’s The Dark Tower to life, up until J.J. Abrams departed the project. As the Willow cast is full of characters and actors who people will want to see more of, spinning off a couple of epic one-off adventures wouldn’t be too impossible a task.
As Michelle Rejwan and Jon Kasdan continued to explain what they would like to see as Willow progresses, both executive producers continued to build a case for another theatrical movie. Ever thankful for the season of episodes they’ve been able to put together, Rejwan connected the streaming and theatrical dots as follows, and Kasdan shared his own perspective:
- Michelle Rejwan: "There’s so many cool new storytelling possibilities out there, so we feel very lucky that we got to do this as a series, in fact. There’s just so many more creative opportunities it afforded us over the eight chapters, and just incredible, endlessly imaginative ideas that come out of my friend Jon here, that we got to do in just one season. So it’s pretty cool."
- Jon Kasdan: "But we both, Michelle and I, come from the world of the movies. I’m counting the days until Avatar comes out, I’m a devotee of the cineplex. Willow for me was a very formative moviegoing experience, because it was so big and so epic."
Earlier this year, we saw Disney using a theatrical re-release of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story to hype up the debut of Andor, attaching footage of the Diego Luna-starring show to those special screenings. With a crosswalk already in place between the theatrical and streaming worlds of Disney, who’s to say that WIllow can’t make the jump to the big screen again?
In a universe where faith in magic can do great things, all it takes is the right person to lift a finger, and the amazement can start. As for you, dear readers, you can start your journey back into the world of Willow, as the first two episodes are currently streaming. However, if you want to watch those installments, as well as the original Ron Howard film, you’ll need the magic of a Disney+ subscription to grant you passage.
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CinemaBlend's James Bond (expert). Also versed in Large Scale Aggressors, time travel, and Guillermo del Toro. He fights for The User.
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