The executive producer behind the upcoming Willow sequel series on Disney Plus have talked up the involvement of Top Gun: Maverick star Val Kilmer at this week's Star Wars Celebration panel.


The former Batman actor does not reprise his role for the long-awaited follow-up to 1988's cult hit fantasy film, but it has been promised that his character will remain a "huge part" of the ongoing story.

Kilmer played a disgraced knight named Madmartigan in the original feature, who helps aspiring sorcerer Willow Ufgood (Warwick Davis) to protect an infant from the evil Queen Bavmorda (Jean Marsh).

After stepping back from acting due to a battle with throat cancer, Kilmer has seen an outpouring of support for his return to cinemas in this month's Top Gun: Maverick, prompting questions over his absence from the Willow sequel.

Executive producer Jonathan Kasdan told Yahoo Entertainment that a physical appearance from Kilmer was prevented by the restrictions of the pandemic, but fans can rest assured he has been consulted about the project.

“Val’s a huge part of this, and the first conversation I had, when Warwick and I got the green light to do this, was with Val,” he explained. “We wanted his character to be a part of the story. We wanted him to be in the show.”

Val Kilmer and Warwick Davis in Willow
Val Kilmer and Warwick Davis in Willow SEAC

“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.”

Meanwhile, at the show's Star Wars Celebration panel, Kasdan emphasised that he and Willow co-star Joanne Whalley – who was married to Kilmer for a period in the 80s and 90s – have been in communication with Kilmer (via Comic Book).

"We’ve made him a major figure in the story,” he added.

Last year, a documentary titled Val was released on Prime Video, which explores the actor's life and career as well as his recent health issues.

Willow is coming soon to Disney Plus. Check out more of our Fantasy coverage or visit our TV Guide to see what's on tonight.


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