Disney+’s Willow series just got a whole lot more interesting.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Jonathan Entwistle will direct the series pilot. Entwistle was one of the key minds behind the Netflix adaptations of Charles Forsman‘s The End of the F***ing World and I Am Not Okay With This. The latter was a surprise for us as we became enchanted with the series and its fictional band, Bloodwitch. Sadly, the streaming service pulled the plug on a second season when it became clear production could not resume in a timely fashion due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Their loss, though, is definitely Disney’s gain. As the pilot director, Entwistle will make a number of stylistic choices the series will continue to utilize as it goes into full production. This includes a lighting scheme, the design of various sets, and some additional members of the cast. And is standard for pilot directors, Entwistle will also serve as one of the program’s executive producers alongside Jonathan Kasdan, Arrow‘s Wendy Mericle — who will both serve as showrunners — and original Willow feature film director Ron Howard. Honestly, the craft he brought to I Am Not Okay With This makes us much more interested in Willow.
In a statement to THR, Entwistle said, “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.”
The program will revolve around an “unassuming kitchen maid,” to be played by Ellie Bamber, who proves she is the “chosen one” as she embarks on a journey with several other young people. The cast includes Cailee Spaeny, Erin Kellyman, and Tony Revolori. Feature film star Warwick Davis will also return as the titular Willow Ufgood, although it remains to be saw how the youngsters will meet him.
Entwistle replaces Jon M. Chu, who was to helm the pilot until COVID related delays and the expected arrival of a child during the proposed shooting schedule forced him to walk away. It is unclear if he will retain an executive producer credit.
Production on Willow is expected to begin later this year in Wales.