Disney Plus's Willow Series Has Found a New Director in Jonathan Entwistle

Warwick Davis as Willow.
Warwick Davis as Willow.
Image: Disney

You might know him from a couple li’l Netflix shows we dig around here.

As reported by the Hollywood Reporter, Jonathan Entwistle, the director behind I Am Not Okay With This and The End of the F***ing World, will be taking the reins of the new Willow series coming to Disney Plus. Or, at least, the pilot episode. Set after the events of the movie, this continuation series will star Warwick Davis reprising his role as Willow Ufgood, an apprentice sorcerer.

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Entwistle’s directorial role is a replacement for Jon M. Chu (Crazy Rich Asians), who left the project earlier this month. Entwistle will be joining Jonathan Kasdan and Wendy Mericle (Arrow) as producers on the show.

“With its epic world of swords, sorcery and adventure, Willow captivated and influenced so many,” said Entwistle in a statement. “I’m excited to be going on this journey and working with Jon and Wendy to create something that is both deeply rooted in that original film and also a fresh, funny and charming addition to the beloved story. To be able to play within the world so painstakingly crafted by Ron back in ‘88 is a dream come true for me.”

Willow doesn’t have a release date as of yet, but it’s slated to start shooting in Wales in the spring.


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io9 Weekend Editor. Videogame writer at other places. Queer nerd girl.

DISCUSSION

Why did I think the nostalgia train would skip this stop? When I finally rewatched Willow, for the first time since grade-school, I spent more time cringing than basking in the nostalgia.

The parts of the movie that work are lifted pretty directly from Tolkien and Star Wars. (These influences are so clear that there is no “gotcha” in pointing them out). But the weaker scenes now look like a grim omen of the prequels. You can see George Lucas losing his hold on childhood. Not even Ron Howard, a master of schmaltzy warmth, can find much joy or adventure in this movie’s dour world or forced whimsy. The road to Jar Jar is paved with Brownies.

Still, maybe the series can make something of it.