When it originally came out in 1988, ’Willow’ received mixed reviews from the critics and was a modest box-office success, earning $137.5 million against a $35 million budget. However, the film became increasingly more popular as the years went by and is now widely regarded as a perfect example of a quintessential 1980s fantasy film. The plot revolves around Willow Ufgood (Warwick Davis), a Nelwyn (dwarf) sorcerer who embarks on a great journey along with mercenary Madmartigan (Val Kilmer) to protect Elora Danan, the child with the mark of prophecy.
The talks about a potential continuation of the ‘Willow’ universe had been around since 2005. The project finally started to take shape in 2019 at Disney+ with Jonathan Kasdan (‘Solo: A Star Wars Story’) at the helm. ‘Willow’ the TV series, based on and sequel of the original film, premiered in November 2022. If you are wondering whether Davis is part of the new series, here is what you need to know.
Does Warwick Davis Appear in the New Willow?
Yes, Davis is very much part of the Disney+ series ‘Willow.’ After all, he plays the titular character; without him, there wouldn’t be any show. George Lucas, who originally devised the concept of ‘Willow’ in 1972, spoke to Davis about the role in 1982. In his 2005 book ‘The Cinema of George Lucas, Marcus Hearn revealed that Lucas wanted to make a film where a little person would lead the cast. The ‘Star Wars’ creator reasoned that most of his films were already about the little guy taking on the system. This just took things a step further.
Davis expressed his interest in reprising his role multiple times over the years. When the Disney series was greenlit and Kasdan approached him, the Harry Potter actor told him that he had been waiting for this for over three decades. “Warwick’s reaction was, ‘Bring it on. I’ve been waiting for 31 years,’ I believe it was at that point he said, ‘And I’ve been ready all that time.’ He kept his wand close at hand. He was as enthusiastic and passionate about returning to this role that so many people loved from him, as anyone could hope their leading man could be. It was incredible,” Kasdan told Moviefone.
In an interview with Collider, Davis recalled that the first time he met Kasdan on the set of ‘Solo,’ he thought that the latter was a fan. “He just wanted to talk about ’Willow,’” the actor said. “It was decided that there should indeed be more ’Willow,’ and so that was the catalyst for this project to happen, and it happened very quickly, in Hollywood terms. It wasn’t years and years of development. Before I knew it, I was on the set in Wales, for the very first day of filming, once again looking just like Willow, but a slightly older, more mature, better-looking version who was sexier.”
For Davis, the callbacks to the original film are one of the best parts of the project. “When I, as a character, talk about those events, that was a really fun way of looking back at those things, and I think fans will get a kick out of,” he elaborated. “We also went back to locations and environments that we’d already been to in the film. In particular, Nockmaar was one of those particular places. That really gave me the shivers. There I was, standing or sitting somewhere that Bavmorda would have sat, and could still feel her presence in that area. That just shows you how powerful the film was, those settings, and also Jean Marsh’s performance.”