It’s been 34 years since audiences first encountered the brave and resourceful Willow Ufgood (Warwick Davis) in director Ron Howard’s popular 1988 fantasy feature. When we first met him, Willow was a young, aspiring sorcerer in the riverside village of Newlyn—a farmer who found himself wrapped up in a prophecy that would change the world around him forever. With the help of mercenary Madmartigan (Val Kilmer) and warrior Sorsha (Joanne Whalley), Willow managed to save the realm, banish the evil dark queen and keep safe the baby girl at the centre of it all, Elora Danan.
Now he’s returned in a much-anticipated sequel that sees a brand new group of unlikely heroes set out alongside him on a dangerous quest that takes them farther away from home than they’ve ever been. There’s Princess Kit (Ruby Cruz), her BFF and aspiring knight Jade (Erin Kelleyman), Kit’s betrothed Prince Graydon (Tony Revolori), thief and raconteur Boorman (Amar Chandha-Patel), and Dove (Ellie Bamber), a young kitchen maid determined to save the one she loves. They all must put aside their differences and work together if they are to save their world and the people in it. Willow himself is older and wiser, but even the now-High Aldwin is unsure if any of them are truly ready to face the coming darkness and are prepared to make the sacrifices necessary to defeat it.
Davis returns as the title character, as does Whalley as Sorsha, but this time they’re joined by a new and diverse cast of veterans and relative newbies like Ellie Bamber, Ruby Cruz, Tony Revolori, Erin Kelleyman, Amar Chadha-Patel, Dempsey Bryk, and a host of surprise cameos. The costumes are back, the atmosphere, the impressive life-and-death battles, and most importantly, the wit and humour. It all feels a bit like we never left.
That Shelf’s Managing Editor Emma Badame had the chance to chat with two of Willow‘s intrepid quest-ers, Cruz (Mare of Easttown) and Revolori (Grand Budapest Hotel). Find out what the actors had to say about venturing into this beloved fantasy world:
Willow premieres November 30, exclusively on Disney+, with subsequent episodes following each Wednesday.