Warwick Davis: It’s quite a dream to reprise Willow role

Warwick Davis has said it is “quite a dream” to reprise his role in a sequel series to the George Lucas film Willow.

The Disney+ fantasy adventure, set in an age of swords, sorcery, myths and monsters, will take place years after the events of the original 1988 film, which was directed by Ron Howard.

Davis, who will next be seen lending his voice to animated series special Master Moley: By Royal Invitation, will return as titular hero Willow Ufgood, while Howard will serve as executive producer and the series is expected to begin production next year in Wales, where much of the original film was shot, with Jonathan Kasdan and Wendy Mericle as showrunners.

Davis first met Kasdan when they were working on the Star Wars spin-off Solo, on which Howard was brought on direct in the middle of the production.

He told the PA news agency: “It was weird, when things line up in a fate situation, the planets aligned, the fact that Ron Howard was brought in as director part way through Solo and then met John and the first thing John said to Ron at a breakfast meeting was, ‘I love Willow’, which instantly gave them a connection.

“And then during the filming of Solo there was a day where George Lucas came in to visit, which was pretty cool, and that day I was dressed as Weazel in Solo, I had this long hair and a lot of beard growth and kind of looked like an older version of Willow.”

A still from Willow
A still from Willow

He continued: “It developed over a couple of years. I was worried at one time, as with all these things, you kind of get a great deal of enthusiasm and then the steam runs out after a while and everyone moves on but with this series, it had its own energy and life which stuck with it until Disney gave it the greenlight.

“I have always said I would love to visit that character again. I was only 17 when I initially played Willow and quite an inexperienced actor.

“To go back to revisit a character that you’ve played before when you’re older and wiser is quite a dream actually and hopefully we will understand what Willow has been through since we last saw him. I really can’t say much more, but it’s going to be a really fabulous adventure.”

Davis will next be seen lending his voice to the children’s animation special Master Moley: By Royal Invitation, in which he takes on the role of the title character, who lives deep in a burrow under Windsor Castle in the bustling city of MoleTown and is the keeper of a magical book which has the power to bring peace between humans and moles.

He said: “I hope it brings a bit of joy and happiness and light, in times that are quite challenging, especially for young people, and some fun as well.

“The great thing about Moley is it’s really fun, it’s a little bit whacky, a little bit out there.

“The character of Moley is trying his best, he hasn’t got a lot of confidence but he tries hard and makes the best of the situation so I’m hoping that will inspire young people when they watch it to do the same and the world of MoleTown is our world but the ideal version of our world.

“It’s a really happy place and also a very inclusive place as well, it doesn’t matter where you’re from, because in MoleTown there are moles from all over the world, MoleTown exists under every continent, they are all over the planet, so it’s a very diverse place and inclusive place, which is what we should all aspire to live in.”

Davis said recording his voice for the show took him back to his years of telling bedtime stories to his children and added: “I used to make them up but they are not suitable for animation, they are a bit crazy and a bit whacky, but I used to tell them stories.

“I read them Harry Potter as well, but the trouble is when I would read the books to them, I would make them so exciting and animated that they wouldn’t fall asleep, I would be almost falling asleep before they would be.

“I didn’t tread them in a calm way, I had to perform the whole thing so I would be walking around the bedroom, being the characters.

“It was great fun, it’s really special when you can do that.”

Master Moley: By Royal Invitation airs throughout December on Boomerang.