Val Kilmer will have a presence in the upcoming Willow series for Disney+, its star Warwick Davis and executive producer Jonathan Kasdan say.
Speaking to Yahoo Entertainment as part of the array of Star Wars Celebration events this past week in Anaheim, the duo explained how Kilmer will play a role in the TV sequel to the 1988 film, directed by Ron Howard and produced by George Lucas.
“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,” Kasdan said. “We wanted his character to be a part of the story. We wanted him to be in the show.”
The Top Gun: Maverick star portrayed the deuteragonist of the film, Madmartigan, a disgraced knight who encounters Davis’ Willow Ufgood and eventually helps him protect an infant destined to bring an end to the evil rule of sorceress Bavmorda, dubbed the Demon Queen.
Kasdan noted that the actor was unable to film with the show, but promised he’s involved “in a big way.”
“Because we were shooting during [the COVID-19 lockdowns], he wasn’t able to come to Wales and shoot with us. But he is in the show in a big way. And we’re pretty excited about it,” the executive producer said. “Madmartigan lives on.”
During the show’s Star Wars Celebration panel on Thursday, according to Comic BookKasdan elaborated a bit more on how Kilmer’s character will exist in the series.
“Val has been in communication with Joann [Whalley] and I and Madmartigan is a character in the story and what we didn’t get to shoot with him on Season 1, we’ve made him a major figure in the story,” he said.
Speaking to YahooDavis called his Willow co-star “a terrific guy,” and shared that Kilmer’s “spirit is very much with the series.”
“I still attribute me getting through the film to Val. He kept my spirits up when conditions were really treacherous and difficult. I was cold, wet, tired. He kept me laughing, kept the whole thing fun.”
On Thursday, Disney debuted the first trailer for the TV sequel, set 20 years after the original film. Davis returns to the titular role, with Ellie Bamber, Erin Kellyman, Tony Revolori and Cailee Spaeny joining the franchise as leading cast members. The series follows an unlikely group of heroes as they set off on a dangerous quest where they will confront their inner demons and come together to save their magical world full of brownies, sorcerers, trolls, and other mystical creatures.