Madmartigan lives on! Val Kilmer will be a 'huge part' of 'Willow' series, creators say

·Senior Correspondent, Yahoo Entertainment
·2 min read

Willow, the upcoming Disney+ series and three-decades-later follow-up to the 1988 movie favorite of the same name, has announced the return of two of the original film’s stars.

Warwick Davis will reprise his role as the beloved eponymous sorcerer, while Joanne Whalley returns as warrior-turned-queen Sorsha. Both stars were present Thursday at Star Wars Celebration where they unveiled the teaser trailer for the series.

But one of the biggest questions around the show has been whether it will feature Val Kilmer in any capacity. Kilmer, who was not featured in the trailer, memorably played the heroic swordsman Madmartigan in the film but has battled throat cancer in recent years that has made it difficult for him to speak, let alone take on major acting roles.

As Davis and series executive producer Jonathan Kasdan told us at Celebration, however, Kilmer — who has a small but poignant part in another ’80s sequel, this weekend’s new release Top Gun: Maverick — will very much have a presence in Willow.

“Val’s a huge part of this, and the first conversation I had, when Warwick and I got the greenlight to do this, was with Val,” Kasdan (Solo: A Star Wars Story) told us (watch above). “We wanted his character to be a part of the story. We wanted him to be in the show.

“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. … Madmartigan lives on.”

WILLOW, Joanne Whalley, Val Kilmer, Warwick Davis, 1988, (c) MGM/courtesy Everett Collection
Joanne Whalley, Val Kilmer and Warwick Davis in "Willow" (Photo: MGM/courtesy Everett Collection)

Says Davis: “Val’s spirit is very much with the series. [He and I] have been in touch since we made the movie, and we’re good friends and he’s a terrific guy.

“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.”

Davis also echoed Kasdan: “Madmartigan lives on.”

Warwick Davis in the upcoming series
Warwick Davis in the upcoming streaming series "Willow" (Photo: Disney+)

The new series Willow will follow Kit (Ruby Cruz), a princess who assembles a team (including Erin Kellyman’s Jade and Ellie Bamber’s Dove) for a dangerous mission to save their world. Also notable: Kit is the daughter of Madmartigan and Sorsha.

As Cruz says of Kilmer, “He’s part of the show in a very big way for my character.”

Willow premieres Nov. 30 on Disney+.

Watch the new trailer:

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