Disney and Lucasfilm had previously announced that Jon M. Chu would be helming the upcoming Willow series for Disney+, but now the Crazy Rich Asian’s director says he is exiting the project.
Chu made the announcement on social media citing production lockdowns and personal reasons for his decision.
“With the production schedule moving due to continued lockdowns in the UK, with a new baby coming in the summer (surprise!), the timing is just not going to work for me and my family,”
Chu went on to say, “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 [Kennedy], Ron [Howard], Jon [Kasdan], Wendy [Mericle], Michelle [Rejwan], and the amazing cast and crew they’ve put together,” said Chu. “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. And boy to they have an adventure in store for you! I can’t wait for you all to experience it soon.”
You can read his Twitter post below:
— Jon M. Chu (@jonmchu) January 11, 2021
Willow, set decades after Ron Howard’s 1988 movie, continues the spirit of adventure, heroics and humor of the original film. Warwick Davis will return in the role of the great sorcerer, Willow Ufgood. Erin Kellyman (The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, Solo: A Star Wars Story), Ellie Bamber (Nocturnal Animals), and Cailee Spaeny (The Craft: Legacy) are all set to star alongside Warwick Davis.
Kathleen Kennedy, Michelle Rejwan, Jon M. Chu, Jonathan Kasdan, Wendy Mericle, Ron Howard and Imagine Television will serve as executive producers, with Roopesh Parekh and Hannah Friedman as co-executive producers. Additionally, Bob Dolman will serve as consulting producer with Julia Cooperman as producer.
Production on the 8-episode series is scheduled to begin in April 2021 in Wales.
Willow is slated to premiere on Disney+ in 2022.