This past weekend, Star Wars fans from around the world converged at the Anaheim Convention Center for a Star Wars Celebration weekend. During that time, fans were able to see a number of Star Wars icons, including Harrison Ford, who shared the release date for the highly-anticipated Indiana Jones 5 movie. Warwick Davis also made a special appearance — the actor has played several roles in the Star Wars universe. However, Davis was there not only for Star Wars fans, but also to share some big news.
During his appearance, Davis shared that the Disney+ series based on the cult classic movie Willow — in which Davis was the star — will premiere on the streaming service on November 30, 2022. Since Davis made the announcement, there was a lot of speculation about who from the original cast would be returning. Davis will be returning as the titular Willow Ufgood. At first, it was reported that Val Kilmer would return to his role as Madmartigan. However, Entertainment Weekly has learned that Kilmer will NOT be returning, but will be a part of the show in spirit.
“Val’s a huge part of this, and the first conversation I had, when Warwick and I got the green light to do this, was with Val,” executive producer Jonathan Kasdan (Solo: A Star Wars Story) told Yahoo Entertainment at a Star Wars Celebration panel Thursday. “We wanted his character to be a part of the story. We wanted him to be in the show.”
Although Kilmer wasn’t able to travel to Wales to shoot Willow due to COVID-19 lockdowns, Kasdan said he is “in the show in a big way.”
Davis added, “Val’s spirit is very much with the series.”
Kilmer has been battling a number of severe health issues for the better part of a decade. In 2017, it was revealed that he had been battling throat cancer for more than two years. Because of the cancer, Kilmer had to undergo chemotherapy and had two tracheotomies. In order to speak, Kilmer uses a voice box and must feed himself with a feeding tube as he can no longer swallow normally.
Throughout it all, Kilmer has maintained a positive attitude and was thrilled to help Madmartigan’s spirit live on in the world of Willow and the new Disney+ series. The Willow series will see legendary director Ron Howard return as an executive producer, alongside Jon M. Chu and Bob Dolman — who wrote the original film. Kathleen Kennedy of LucasFilm — the studio behind the original movie — will also serve as an executive producer.