New Disney Plus series Willow continues the story first started in the 1988 fantasy film of the same name, with stars of that movie including Warwick Davis and Joanne Whalley returning to their roles 34 years on.

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One star who wasn't able to return for the series is Val Kilmer, who played disgraced knight Madmartigan in the film, but couldn't get to the set due to restrictions surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic.

Despite his absence, the cast and crew have made clear that Madmartigan remains a key part of the new series - and that Kilmer could still return to his role one day.

Speaking exclusively with RadioTimes.com, Spider-Man star Tony Revolori, who plays new character Graydon in the series, said that Kilmer is "one hundred per cent a part of this Willow family" and noted that it was "was unfortunate that we couldn't make the shooting schedule link up".

Revolori continued: "But you know, Madmartigan is a character that is vitally important and was the beating heart of the original film. And so you can't have a series without at least mentioning this extremely vital part."

Ruby Cruz as Kit, Erin Kellyman and Jade, Amar Chadha-Patel as Boorman and Tony Revolori as Graydon in Willow.
Ruby Cruz as Kit, Erin Kellyman and Jade, Amar Chadha-Patel as Boorman and Tony Revolori as Graydon in Willow. Lucasfilm

Meanwhile, the series' writer and executive producer Jonathan Kasdan said: "He couldn’t come, but the first conversation that I had after it seemed like there was some momentum coming around the idea of doing this as a show and around the pilot script I had written, was to go see Val - and he could not have been more enthusiastic and game.

"He knows as we all knew, and he felt he had to remind me, that there is no Madmartigan but him, and there isn't. And he was game to come out and do it and pick up the sword, and in fact picked me up in that first meeting just to prove that a sword would be nothing. But then COVID happened and it became almost impossible for us to bring any of our American cast out.

"And the situation just didn't provide the opportunity so we decided that what we would do is we would not change the story we were telling, but extend it in such a way so that the mystery of his whereabouts could remain throughout the season and perhaps lead to further destinations.

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"I told him that that's how we were going to come at it and he had wanted to come but understood the pressures we were under and he's continued to be involved at every moment. Madmartigan is in the show in a meaningful way and connected to every single one of the characters."

Asked if we could see Kilmer back as Madmartigan in any potential future seasons of the show, Kasdan said: "One hundred per cent. And I mean, that really was the intention, that there's always a place for him in this world.

"And the moment it's possible, we'd love to get him on the screen back into that character, because he is such a huge, huge part of the DNA of what all of us love about the original movie, he brought something so fresh to the genre.

"If Warwick was the soul of Willow, Val was the spirit, and that is too great a thing to not want and covet having in your television show. So yeah, I hope that a day comes when Madmartigan is revealed."

Willow will stream on Disney Plus from 30th November 2022, with new episodes arriving weekly. Sign up to Disney Plus for £7.99 a month or £79.90 for a year.

Check out more of our Drama coverage or visit our TV Guide and Streaming Guide to see what's on tonight.

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