Were you one of the people waiting with bated breath for the Disney+ revival of WILLOW? If so, you may be feeling nervous as producer/director Jon M. Chu has announced his departure from the long-overdue series. Despite casting being well underway and production gearing up, Chu has cited that scheduling conflicts and personal matters have pulled him away from the high-profile project. Years after the Ron Howard/George Lucas fantasy epic teased the start of a new franchise, and decades before Peter Jackson brought The Lord of the Rings to the big screen, Willow was the height of fantasy filmmaking.
“I’m heartbroken to let you all know that I, unfortunately, have to step away from directing Willow,” Chu said in a statement that was posted to Twitter. “With the production schedule moving due to continued lockdowns in the UK, and with a new baby coming this summer (surprise!), the timing is just not going to work out for me and my family.”
— Jon M. Chu (@jonmchu) January 11, 2021
“As you may know, Willow has been one of my favorite movies since I was a child, so I’m devastated that I won’t be able to work with some of my heroes old and new like Kathy, Ron, Jon, Wendy, Michelle and the amazing cast and crew they’ve put together,” Chu’s message to fans continued. “Like a kid seeing Willow for the first time in the ’80s, I will look forward to watching this magical new world unfold as a very enthusiastic fan.”
Announced formally at the Disney investor presentation at the end of 2020, Willow is still coming but could be delayed now that Lucasfilm has to find someone to take Chu’s place. Could it be Ron Howard himself, the man who directed the original movie? How about his daughter, Bryce Dallas Howard, who has directed two episodes of Disney+ and Lucasfilm’s hit series The Mandalorian? I’d sure love to see what she could do with a long-form fantasy series filled with magic, monsters, and plenty of sword-wielding mayhem.
Let us know who you’d like to see take over Disney’s Willow series now that Jon M. Chu is off the project in comments section below.