While promoting his upcoming blockbuster Solo: A Star Wars Story, director Ron Howard revealed that he wants to return to his earliest collaboration with George Lucas from three decades ago.
“I don’t want to give away too much, but there is a little talk of Willow,” Howard told comicbook.com in an exclusive interview. “We wouldn’t call it Willow 2, I think it would focus a lot on Elora Danan, although Willow would have to be significantly involved.”
Solo reunited Howard with actor Warwick Davis, who played the title character Willow Ufgood. A year ago, Howard responded to a fan’s question on Twitter about a sequel.
— Ron Howard (@RealRonHoward) July 26, 2017
Willow was a fantasy epic released in 1988 about a Hobbit-like character played by Davis, fresh off his star turn as Wicket in Return of the Jedi. He joins forces with the cocky swordfighter Madmartigan (Val Kilmer) to save a child from an evil queen.
Lucas conceived the idea for the film back in the ‘70s, according to The Hollywood Reporter, but the visual tech didn’t exist at the time to bring his vision to life. When it came out the film was hardly a commercial success, but it’s maintained a devoted cult following among fantasy fans.
In a Reddit AMA, Howard said he looks back at the movie with a mixture of fondness and regret. “You know there are things about the movie Willow, as much affection as I have for it and as much affection as fans have for it that, you know, I would love to have a second chance with,” he wrote in response to a question about a sequel.
“And I think today I could make it even more dynamic, I could make it cooler, I could make the funny stuff funnier, but all that said, you know Willow was a great experience and I’m really glad it sort of lives in peoples memory,” he added.
Howard also disclosed that the earlier movie may have helped inspire his vision of the interstellar smuggler. “I thought about that movie a lot as I was working on Solo because there are certain scenes, especially around some of the Madmartigan stuff, was reminiscent of a character with that kind of swagger and bravado. And also some of the humor around some of the action in Willow was something I inspired to get into Solo.”
- The 5 best movies set in space, ranked
- Lucasfilm begins work on sequel series to 1988 fantasy film Willow for Disney+
- Watch: Here's the first trailer for Ron Howard's upcoming Beatles documentary
- Ron Howard and Brian Grazer on board for Nat Geo’s first scripted series, Genius
- Ron Howard to take on The Girl Before after Dan Brown’s Inferno