Forget Everything You Know And Get Lost In Willow’s Debut Trailer

Warwick Davis returns as dwarf wizard Nelwyn in new Disney+ series Willow.

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The 1988 fantasy film Willow was underrated in its day, but is now a cult classic of fantasy. Disney+ is banking on the strength of its nostalgic appeal with new fantasy series Willow, set decades after the events of the first film. And now we have an official trailer, which debuted at D23 Expo.

Like we did previously reportedthe original Willow was directed by Ron Howard, and it told the story of a child with a runic birthmark who was prophesied to bring about the downfall of the evil witch Queen Bavmorda. The child was floated on a raft of grass and found by a village of little people (the Nelwyns). A dwarf wizard from Nelwyn named Willow led a party to find a community of Daikini (tall people) to raise the baby. Many magical adventures ensued.

The Oscar-nominated film debuted to mixed reviews but did well at the box office, earning $137.6 million worldwide, even though it never became the hit blockbuster that George Lucas had hoped. Lucas and Davis had discussed the possibility of a series of sequels as far back as 2005, but Disney+ didn’t greenlight the project until October 2020, with Howard on board as executive producer.

Enlarge / On a rescue mission

Disney+

The series looks and sounds like a promising return to this world. Among other positive signs, Warwick Davis is returning as Nelwyn’s dwarf wizard Willow Ufgood. (Davis was on stage for the trailer’s intro at D23 Expo.) The official synopsis describes the series as “an epic period fantasy series with a modern sensibility set in an enchanted land of breathtaking beauty. the breath” – so, very much in the same vein as the original film. He pursues :

The story began with a budding magician from a village in Nelwyn and a little girl destined to unite kingdoms, who together helped destroy an evil queen and banish the forces of darkness. Now, in a magical world where brownies, wizards, trolls and other mystical creatures thrive, the adventure continues, as an unlikely group of heroes embark on a dangerous quest to places far beyond their home, where they must face their inner demons and come together to save their world.

Along with Davis’ return, Joanne Whalley returns as Sorsha, daughter of the defeated Queen Bavmorda from the original film, and an accomplished warrior in her own right. Kevin Pollak reprises his role as brownie Rool, which brings a bit of levity to the proceedings. Alas, Val Kilmer is recovering from throat cancer and therefore was unable to return as the mercenary swordsman Madmartigan. But we learned from panelists that Christian Slater will be joining the cast as the swordsman’s friend, described simply as “a quest-helping character.” Madmartigan will therefore be there in spirit.

Hey, it's Kevin Pollak reprising his role as Rool the Brownie.
Enlarge / Hey, it’s Kevin Pollak reprising his role as Rool the Brownie.

Disney+

New characters include Erin Kellyman as a servant girl named Jade, who trains to become a warrior; Ruby Cruz as Kit, the best friend of Jade, daughter of Sorsha, who throws a party to save her twin brother; Ellie Bamber as a housekeeper named Dove; and Amar Chadha-Patel as a thief named Boorman, who is promised his freedom in exchange for helping the party. Ralph Ineson plays Commander Ballantine, Adwoah Aboa plays Scorpia, Kenny Knight plays Keene, Alexis Rodney plays Lachlan, Charlie Rawes plays Toth, and Talisa Garcia plays a queen and mother to the yet unnamed character played by Tony Revolori. Dempsey Bryk and Rosabell Laurenti Sellers have been cast in undisclosed roles.

The trailer opens with a mysterious voiceover: “You think you know what’s real and what’s not. What is light, what is dark. Now forget everything you know. Come with me. Cut to Sorsha saying “Willow”. She sends Kit to find the wizard and ask for his help in rescuing her kidnapped son, as the world needs her magic again. Of course, Willow agrees to help them, leading them “beyond the edge of our world into the unknown”. There’s an unnamed enemy out there, “joining the forces of evil,” Willow says. “And the only thing standing in his way is us. »

Pollak’s brief appearance as Rool – and maybe being Franjean with him? – was the clear highlight for me. He’s overjoyed to see his old friend Willow again, and basically mimics the first film’s story arc: “Just like the good old days.” Race! Horses! Mayhem! Mayhem! Happy ending kissy! Yes, that pretty much sums it all up. And it looks like the series will serve a lot more of the same.

Willow premieres on Disney+ on November 30, 2022.

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Disney+

Announcement image by Disney+

Forget Everything You Know And Get Lost In Willow’s Debut Trailer