Ron Howard reveals that a sequel to his '80s fantasy classic Willow is being discussed. It's been 30 years since the movie released, and the Solo: A Star Wars Story director may very well jump from one George Lucas creation to another.
In 1988, Willow marked a change in tone for Lucasfilm, shifting from lightsaber duels and Jedi to sword fights and sorcerers. It followed Warwick Davis (who had starred as the Ewok Wicket in Return of the Jedi) as the titular character, who is inadvertently thrust into an adventure involving wizards, witches, two-headed dragons, and disturbing human-to-pig transformations; it also starred Val Kilmer, Joanne Whalley, and Kevin Pollack. In the movie, Willow is tasked with protecting a newborn baby named Elora Danan who has been prophesied to bring about the end of the evil Queen Bavmorda. Now, 30 years after its release, Howard is suggesting that a sequel may actually be in the works.
In an interview with ComicBook, Howard mentioned that, despite there being no official confirmation, a sequel to Willow is being considered. While promoting Solo, he explained that "there is a little talk of Willow," though he doesn't "want to give away too much." He also added that if a film did ever get the go-ahead, it wouldn't necessarily be a direct sequel to the original movie but a spinoff, of sorts, following a grownup version of Elora Danan. That said, "Willow would have to be significantly involved."
Howard even went so far as to explain that Willow doubled as a form of inspiration for Solo while it was in production. Despite existing in two very different universes, he explained there were certain scenes, elements, and even characters that drew parallels between both movies. Not only was "the humor around some of the action in Willow" something that Howard injected into Solo, but there was a character with traits to similar Val Kilmer's cocky Madmartigan, though he didn't specify which Solo character to whom he was referring.
Though the movie never reached the level of success that other Lucasfilm properties had achieved, Willow has since become a cult classic. And following the recent trend of green-lighting sequels years after their predecessors were released (see: Mad Max: Fury Road and Blade Runner 2049), the nostalgia factor alone could potentially work to its benefit. What's more, the time jump would allow the sequel to explore elements merely suggested in the first movie, including an evolution of Willow's pursuit to become a sorcerer and the opportunity to see the sort of person that Elora has grown into, and whether or not she was as formidable as the prophecy foresaw.
- Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018) release date: May 25, 2018