A good way to spark a little interest in just about anything is to mention Crazy Rich Asians filmmaker Jon M. Chu’s involvement, which is partly why news of Disney+’s plans for a Willow series, a sequel to the 1988 film from Lucasfilm and director Ron Howard, was met with a chorus of “Eh, why not?” However, that was nearly three months ago. Now, according to TheWrap, Chu has stepped away from the project (at least in regards to directing) due to scheduling issues, leaving us once again to ask why this is happening in the first place, as we normally do with seemingly unnecessary retreads.
Chu, a very vocal Willow fan who was originally slated to direct the series’ pilot, released a statement via Instagram detailing both his decision to step away in this capacity and his disappointment in the matter altogether. Ever the multitasker, he also took the opportunity to announce that he and his wife, Kristin Hodge, are expecting their third child, which doubles as a very sweet development and a decent reason to no longer have the time to direct. Here’s the full statement:
I’m heartbroken to let you all know that I unfortunately have to step away from directing Willow. With the production schedule moving due to continued lockdowns in the UK, and with a new baby coming this summer (surprise!), the timing is just not going to work for me and my family.
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, Ron, Jon, Wendy, Michelle, and the amazing cast and crew they’ve put together. 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 do they have an adventure in store for you! I can’t wait for you all to experience it soon.
Much love, and take care of each other during these fast changing times,
Jon M. Chu
Chu is still attached as one of the executive producers of the series while Solo writer Jonathan Kasdan and Wendy Mericle are billed as showrunners. Original star Warwick Davis is set to return.