Willow May Not Be Cancelled After All!
Jon Kasdan has confirmed that Willow is not canceled as first reported – just on hiatus for twelve months!
Reports of Willow’s demise may have been premature. Just days after reports emerged suggesting that Lucasfilm’s sequel series had been canceled at Disney+, showrunner Jon Kasdan has offered an update. The long-awaited follow-up to Ron Howard’s classic movie was released at the back end of last year to critical acclaim. Most notably from me! But despite the creatives behind the series mapping out at least another two seasons, it appeared that the series had become the latest show to be put out to pasture. But the news isn’t as grim as first feared.
JON KASDAN OFFERS AN UPDATE
With word of the cancellation reverberating around the internet, Jon Kasdan took to social media to clarify the ongoing saga. And thankfully, the update is a positive one. In an honest and heartfelt post, the show writer has backtracked on the phrase “canceled” and confirmed that the series is instead going on hiatus for at least twelve months. However, production on the planned second and third seasons is still moving forward. Just later down the line than any of us expected.
The hiatus appears to be a result of the studio tightening its belt to ensure the profitability of Disney Plus. With so many projects already well into production, Disney seems to be reluctant to pour more cash into the tank for the foreseeable future. Which is understandable. The turnover of content has been exhausting. And with so many projects speeding towards release, the streamer is acting to ensure the sustainability of the platform before continuing with another, less-than-profitable IP. After all, Willow was never in the running to rival the viewing figures of Lucasfilm’s flagship The Mandalorian. But the studio heads had hoped that the nostalgia factor would drive viewers back to George Lucas’ other fantasy realm. Read on for Kasdan’s remarks below.
“I feel fairly confident that, if asked, neither I, nor the folks at Lucasfilm, would or have actually characterized it quite that way,” Kasdan said. “The truth is less splashy, but here it is: A decision was made last week to release our main cast for other series opportunities that may arise for them in the coming year. With all the TV and movies in production around the world, it feels unfair to limit an actor’s availability without a clear sense of when you’re going to need them again.“
Kasdan continued, “If you’re asking what this means for you as a viewer, or me as the creator, here’s what I think it means: 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.“
— Jon Kasdan (@JonKasdan) March 17, 2023
Although the series wasn’t exactly a cultural phenomenon like its predecessor, the series was a joy. The landscapes were rich and rewarding, the costumes were imaginative, and the story was compelling. However, the modern terminology and the use of “real world” slang shattered the fantasy for some long-term fans. And if you can’t win over the fans, you’re dead weight.
Whether or not the series can be revived at some point in the future remains to be seen. But in the current climate where streamers are cutting content to ensure the sustainability of their platforms, it might be a hard sell. But stranger things have happened.
Thankfully, if the series does return, Jon Kasdan has promised that the next chapters will be “brain-meltingly fun, richer, darker, and better.” Which is saying something. In fact, Kasdan calls the second volume “all about courage, desire, acceptance and the comedy and beauty to be found in even the darkest places and moments. It’s about the enemies we must inevitably confront, both without and, often far more insidiously, from within. But, above all, it’s about the ineffable and enduring magic of friendship.”
Thankfully, it sounds like Willow isn’t as dead and buried as we first feared. And once the market stabilizes and Disney’s purse strings loosen once again, the adventures of Willow Ufgood and Elora Danan will be back in the saddle. Until then Willow will return home, safe in the knowledge that he’ll be there when we need him. Ready to stream on Disney Plus. Thanks, Peck!
Ron Howard’s Willow and Jon Kasdan’s follow-up series are now streaming on Disney Plus.
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Phil Roberts is the Owner, Daily Content Manager, and Editor-In-Chief of The Future of the Force. He is passionate about Star Wars, Batman, DC, Marvel, Star Trek, Indiana Jones, Ghostbusters, King Kong, and the Ray Harryhausen movies. Follow him on Twitter where he uses the force and babbles frequently!