“Willow” fans got some disappointing news this week when it was widely reported that the Disney+ series (a sequel to Ron Howard and George Lucas’ 1988 film of the same name), had been cancelled after one season.
The news hardly seemed surprising, given that every streaming service is dealing with budget cuts and Disney is in the midst of a leadership overhaul. But as it turns out, the initial reporting may not have told the whole story.
Jon Kasdan, who created the series and served as showrunner for Season 1, released a statement on his personal Twitter account to contextualize the reports that the show was cancelled. Kasdan explained that the uncertain landscape in the streaming industry will significantly delay production on the show, but it has not been formally axed.
“A decision was made last week to release our main cast for other series opportunities that may arise for them in the coming year,” Kasdan wrote. “With all the TV and movies in production around the world, it feels unfair to limit an actor’s availability without a clear sense of when you’re going to need them again. It’s further triviliased by the simple reality that the scripts we’ve been working on require just as many actors with whom no such contractual hold exists.”
He went on to say that, while there are no firm plans to resume production soon, Disney has still tasked him and his creative team with planning a second season.
“If you’re asking what this means for you as a viewer, or me as the creator, here’s what I think it means: Due to forces much larger and more intricate than I would ever pretend to fully understand production of streaming shows is slowing down across the entire industry, and ‘Willow’ won’t resume filming in the next 12 months,” he wrote. “But here’s what’s equally true: with the enthusiastic and unwavering support of Lucasfilm, and Disney, we’ve developed and written what we hope is a brain-meltingly fun, richer, darker and better VOLUME II, which builds on the characters and story of our first eight chapters (The Wyrm survives!)”
Of course, it’s fairly common for studios to order scripts that never make it to production — so the situation that Kasdan outlined is not exactly a guarantee that Season 2 is on the way. But for the moment, “Willow” fans can take solace in the fact that the dream of another season is not entirely dead.