The reason why Val Kilmer is not in the ‘Willow’ sequel series (although that was the intention at first)

The veteran performer played Madmartigan in the legendary 80s film, but he is not present in the fiction that will continue the story more than 30 years later and that has just been released on Disney+.

More than 30 years have passed since Ron Howard directed the mythical Willow in 1988, but the sequel they always had in mind is finally a reality series on Disney+, which has just made the first two episodes available to its subscribers. Full of nostalgia but at the same time a great freshness, the fiction rediscovers us with a story in which there were still things to tell, but which also offers new generations and newly arrived viewers a new original and ambitious adventure that is completely at the height of the tape that captivated more than three decades ago.

Directed by Jonathan Kasdan, but with Ron Howard joining the team as executive producer, Willow’s sequel series brings us back to Warwick Davis as the lead and Joanne Whalley as Sorsha, but the absence of a key character is noted: Madmartiganplayed by Val Kilmer and an essential piece in the story of the first film.


Nevertheless, the intention of the new Willow of Disney + had always been to have the veteran interpreter again in the shoes of the unforgettable and charismatic daikini gentleman. This was stated by the ‘showrunner’ of the series Jonathan Kasdan in an interview with Entertainment Weeklyin which he also assured that Kilmer was delighted with the idea.

“We really wanted Val to be on the show. And Val really wanted to come and be on the show.”, affirms the creator with conviction. “I remember going up to him right after this started to get bigger and saying, ‘Listen, we’re going to do this. And the whole world wants Madmartigan back.’ And he’s like, ‘Not as much as I do.’ He hugged me when I left. He picked me up and said, ‘See? I’m still super strong.’ And in that scenario, Kasdan and the writing team began work on the first season of Willow with the return of Madmartigan in mind.

What happened then? At this point, we are no longer surprised to read that the Covid-19 pandemic caused some problems during the process. The series would receive the green light in October 2020, but a first delay in its production plan caused it to lose the first director of its pilot episode, Jon M. Chu, something that happened again with the next one, Jonathan Entwistle. At the same time, Val Kilmer was still recovering from throat cancer and that made the prospect of him untenable.. “We were preparing in the spring of the year when the most was happening,” Kasdan explained.

Val reluctantly didn’t feel like she could get out. We had to find a way to preserve the story that we wanted to tell with him about how his story was unfolding.

Fortunately, Kasdan has ensured that the character still has a role to play in the series, confirming that “Madmartigan is still alive”. A) Yes, although Kilmer is not part of the series now, maybe he could be in the future, as Kasdan’s initial plans include more than one season of the sequel series. And even another movie: “The first thing we would like to do is another season because we have much more that we would like to tell here.”