Lucasfilm series Willow might not be getting a second season on Disney Plus. Fans of the original film were looking to see the new series based on the 1988 film of the same name created by George Lucas, and directed by Ron Howard.
Willow didn’t have the same impact as Indiana Jones or Star Wars. Willow didn’t have any follow-up films like the other franchises, but it did create a few books, comics, video games and a board game. Considering the film was reviewed so poorly when it was released, it still had a good fan following.
The franchise has so much potential for Disney and Lucasfilm as fantasy-themed shows have been gaining a lot of attention lately. I suppose we can attribute that to HBO’s adult fantasy series Game of Thrones, which catapulted the genre. Now, Amazon has Lord of the Rings and Vox Machina. And Netflix has The Witcher, and Shadow and Bone.
The series itself continues years after the events of the film. Willow Ufgood, played by Warwick Davis, leads a group of heroes to save the world from the Gales.
Willow Series Cancelled?
A report from Deadline revealed that the series had been cancelled only two months after the release of the first season.
Disney has been reassessing their film and TV shows. Even Marvel, which is pretty much one of the most successful studios under Disney, is also being reviewed for making too many projects and sacrificing quality.
Lucasfilm has been holding off making new Star Wars films after the disappointing performance of Solo: A Star Wars Story. While their TV shows like The Mandalorian, Ahsoka, Acolyte, The Skeleton Crew and other animated series, have been gaining some momentum.
The release of the new series had good reviews. Its Rotten Tomatoes rating sits at 83%, which is not bad for a show’s first season. Unfortunately, audience reviews are much harsher, with its audience rating sitting at 66%. With audience reviews either completely hating it or loving it. It really is a mixed bag.
The series itself, while it ended its arc regarding the Gales, imply that there was another season coming.
Regardless, showrunner Jonathan Kasdan has written a letter he shared on social media about the situation, which seems to have implied that Deadline exaggerated its headline, saying:
As a life-long devotee of Deadline Hollywood, I also appreciate that punchy headlines drive clicks. So I understand how “WILLOW CANCELED AFTER ONE SEASON ON DISNEY+” is fun and juicy.
However, as I’m nearly certain I’ve had more conversations about this in the last couple weeks than Nellie Andreeva (of whom I remain an ardent fan), I feel fairly confident that, if asked, neither I, nor the folks at Lucasfilm, would or have actually characterized it quite that way.
— Jon Kasdan (@JonKasdan) March 17, 2023
There is a Future for Willow. We just have to wait for it
The letter also shows that they have already written Volume 2 of the series. But the fact is that there is something bigger that affects the whole industry in general. Kasdan adds:
Due to forces much larger and more intricate than I would ever pretend to fully understand, production of streaming shows is slowing down across the entire industry, and Willow won’t resume filming in the next 12 months.
Disney and Lucasfilm seem to be on board with returning to the Willow franchise, but not anytime soon. Kasdan gave a few examples of shows that did return after many years, like Party Down, Atlanta, and Curb Your Enthusiasm.
There is hope that the series will continue. But when will it happen? That is the big question. It’s been a tough year for many, not just for Lucasfilm. Amazon Prime and HBO Max have been going through a lot too, with several cancellations of popular shows and movies being made.
I hope that a new Willow series or a movie will eventually happen at some point in the future. It took more than three decades for the franchise to return for one season. Let’s hope that it doesn’t take another three decades for it to return.
What do you think about the news that Willow is being cancelled after just one season? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.
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