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Warwick Davis-led 'Willow' series drops first 'Dark Crystal'-y trailer, locks in November release

Willow arrives on Disney+ Wednesday, Nov. 30.

By Josh Weiss & Vanessa Armstrong
Willow Ufgood (Warwick Davis) and (Graham Hughes) in Lucasfilm's WILLOW exclusively on Disney+.

Welcome back, Mr. Ufgood! Warwick Davis returns to one of his most iconic onscreen characters in the first, Dark Crystal-y trailer for Lucasfilm's upcoming Willow series, which will officially premiere on Disney+ this November. The footage made its debut at Star Wars Celebration in Anaheim, California Thursday. “It’s a dream to return to this character… Making this movie was one of the best experiences of my life," Davis said onstage.

Based upon the 1988 dark fantasy film of the same name produced by Star Wars creator George Lucas and written by Bob Dolman, the show takes place 20 years after the original movie. The series centers around three heroines who leave their village in search of the greatest sorcerer on the planet (aka Davis' Willow). Along the way, they'll confront other sorcerers, trolls, mystical creatures, and, of course, their own personal demons. Did we mention the fate of the world is at stake here? Yeah, there's that, too.

Those three heroines are played by Ruby Cruz (Castle Rock), Erin Kellyman (The Falcon and the Winter Soldier), and Ellie Bamber (The Serpent), each of whom graced the Celebration Stage during the Lucasfilm panel. During the event, the three gave us some more details about their roles. Cruz said her character was named Kit and was the daughter of Sorsha (Joanne Whalley); Kellyman plays an orphan named Jade looking to become a knight; and Bamber's character, Dove, is in love with Kit's brother. 

Watch the trailer below:

Whalley was also onstage for the Willow celebration and shared that it was "great to have my sword back in my hand." Original Willow director Ron Howard also took part in the event as well as executive producer and co-showrunner, Jonathan Kasdan. Wendy Mericle, Kathleen Kennedy, Michelle Rejwan, and Howard are also executive producers. Kasdan (Solo: A Star Wars Story) and Mericle (Arrow) pull double duty as co-showrunners.

“This isn’t a nostalgic throw-back, it’s a creative lean-forward and it’s a blast to be a part of it all," Howard teased to Den of Geek during an interview in 2020. He later added: "It’s a hero’s journey, but the ways in which they’re tested emotionally, who they are, what makes them tick, there’s nothing nostalgic about that. It’s very relatable in ways that is still entirely consistent with the world that George [Lucas], and then with my help and Bob [Dolman] and others, tried to create."

Longtime Willow fan Jon M. Chu (Crazy Rich AsiansIn the Heights) was originally attached to direct the pilot episode, but was forced to exit as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Chu was briefly replaced with Jonathan Entwistle (I Am Not Okay With This), who also ended up parting ways with the series in early 2021. Stephen Woolfenden (Outlander) was brought aboard to helm the pilot that summer.

In addition to the cast mentioned above, the Willow series also co-stars Dempsey Bryk (Black Mirror), Amar Chadha-Patel (The Wheel of Time), and Tony Revolori (Servant). The series premieres on Disney+ Wednesday, Nov. 30.

Looking for some fantasy content to tide you over for the next four months? Click here for our list of the best fantasy films available on Peacock.