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Forget whatever you know and lose yourself in the initial trailer for Willow

The magic returns

“Running! Horses! Mayhem! Mayhem! Happy kissy ending!”

Warwick Davis is returning because the Nelwyn dwarf sorcerer in the brand new Disney+ series Willow.

The 1988 fantasy film Willow was under-appreciated in its day, but it’s now a fantasy cult classic. Disney+ is betting on the effectiveness of its nostalgic appeal with the brand new fantasy seriesWillow, set decades following the events of the initial film. And today we have the official trailer, which debuted at D23 Expo.

As we’ve reported previously, the initial Willow was directed by Ron Howard, also it told the story of a kid with a rune birthmark who was simply prophesied to effect a result of the downfall of the evil sorceress Queen Bavmorda. The kid was set afloat on a grass raft and found by way of a village of little people (the Nelwyn). A Nelwyn dwarf sorcerer named Willow led a celebration to locate a community of Daikini (tall people) to improve the infant. Many magical adventures ensued.

The Oscar-nominated film debuted to mixed critical reviews, but made a good showing at the box office, earning $137.6 million globallyeven though it never became the blockbuster hit producer George Lucas had hoped it could be. Lucas and Davis had discussed the chance of a sequel series as soon as 2005, but Disney+ didn’t supply the project the green light until October 2020, with Howard up to speed being an executive producer.

On a rescue mission

Enlarge / On a rescue mission


The series looks and appears like a promising go back to that world. Among other positive signs, Warwick Davis is returning because the Nelwyn dwarf sorcerer Willow Ufgood. (Davis was on stage for the trailer’s introduction at D23 Expo.)The state synopsis describes the series as “an epic period fantasy series with today’s sensibility occur an enchanted land of breathtaking beauty”so, quite definitely in exactly the same vein because the original film. It continues:

The story began withanaspiring magician from the Nelwyn village and a child girl destined to unite the realms, who together helped destroy an evil queen and banish the forces of darkness. Now, in a magical world where brownies, sorcerers, trolls, and othermysticalcreatures flourish, the experience continues, being an unlikely band of heroesset off on a dangerous quest to places far beyond their house, where they need to face their inner demons and come togethertosave their world.

As well as the return of Davis, Joanne Whalley is back as Sorsha, daughter of the defeated Queen Bavmorda from the initial film, and an accomplished warrior in her very own right. Kevin Pollak reprises his role because the brownie Rool, who brings a little bit of levity to the proceedings. Alas, Val Kilmer has been dealing with throat cancer and therefore couldn’t keep coming back as mercenary swordsman Madmartigan. But we learned from the panelists that Christian Slater will join the cast as a pal of the swordsman, described merely as “a character aiding quest.” So Madmartigan will undoubtedly 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.


The brand new characters include Erin Kellyman as a servant named Jade, who’s training to become warrior; Ruby Cruz as Jade’s companion Kit, daughter of Sorsha, who assembles a celebration to rescue her twin brother; Ellie Bamber as a kitchen maid named Dove; and Amar Chadha-Patel as a thief named Boorman, who’s promised his freedom in trade 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 of the as-yet-unnamed character played by Tony Revolori. Dempsey Bryk and Rosabell Laurenti Sellers have already been cast in undisclosed roles.

The trailer opens with a mysterious voiceover: “You imagine guess what happens is real and what isn’t. What’s light, what’s dark. Now forget whatever you know. Include me.” Cut to Sorsha saying “Willow.” She sends Kit to search out the sorcerer and have for his assist in rescuing her kidnapped son, as the world once more needs his magic. Needless to say Willow agrees to greatly help, leading them”beyond the edge of the world in to the unknown.” There is a nameless enemy on the market, “rallying the forces of evil,” Willow says. “And the thing standing in his path is us.”

Pollak’s brief appearance as Rooland might that be Franjean with him?was the clear highlight for me personally. He’s delighted to see his old pal Willow again, and basically mimes the narrative arc of the initial movie: “Exactly like old times. Running! Horses! Mayhem! Mayhem! Happy kissy ending!” Yep, that about sums it up. Also it appears like the series will offer plenty more of exactly the same.

Willow debuts on Disney+ on November 30, 2022.


Listing image by Disney+

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