The Success Of Marvel's Werewolf By Night Gives Willow's Creatives Hope For More Madmartigan Stories

When Disney first launched its streaming service in late 2019, the message was clear: the company would be branching out to experiment with different forms of storytelling, providing a different experience than what audiences could find in theaters. It was an exciting concept and one that yielded mixed results. Under the banner of franchises such as "Marvel" and "Star Wars," Disney+ has explored every nook and cranny possible in each respective universe. For every meandering and derivative show like "The Book of Boba Fett," there were shows like "Andor" that broke new ground with their structure and tone. 

On the Marvel side of things, series meant to serve as installments in the Marvel Cinematic Universe were allowed to play with genre and expectations. Early on in 2020, "WandaVision" showed signs of creative storytelling not seen in any MCU project up to that point. Even now, the MCU has developed a new short form of storytelling under the "Marvel Studios Special Presentation Banner." The first project, "Werewolf by Night," was a breath of fresh air for the studio. Other creatives have noticed the opportunities at hand when making shows and movies for Disney+. Jonathan Kasdan, creator and writer of the upcoming series "Willow," sees the positive reception to these specials as a door to explore other characters in the world of "Willow" in new and unexpected ways on the platform.

Opening the door for new stories

/Film's Jeff Ewing attended a screening of episodes of Willow, followed by a Q&A with executive producer Jonathan Kasdan and executive producer Michelle Rejwan. Early on during the panel, Kasdan expressed his excitement for the future of "Willow" and how the Disney+ streaming platform lends itself to other types of episodes and specials similar to "Werewolf by Night"— with Val Kilmer's Madmartigan from the 1988 film used as a specific example:

"And you know another thing we're excited about? I think you can feel it in the culture here at Disney; at least, 'Werewolf by Night' is an example of the kind of thing you can do; it just feels like an opening of a door. Maybe there's like a short-form stand-alone... You know... Like, we'd love to tell Madmartigan Stories or whatever it be in whatever form it might take. So, we're up for all of it."

Kasdan and his team are clearly excited about other specials and series that could be set in the world of "Willow." That's unsurprising, given that it's been over 30 years since the original film. It's been a long wait for a continuation, and the fantasy setting of the original movie and the series could potentially build a world for itself that rivals the likes of Amazon's "Rings of Power" or HBO Max's "House of the Dragon." It's also important to point out that Kilmer's character is apparently not in the series; in his place is Christian Slater's character, announced at D23 as an "old friend" of Madmartigan's. Given Kilmer's health, any potential Madmartigan series or special would more likely than not recast. 

Nevertheless, Kasdan is game to experiment with different forms of storytelling on Disney+. All that remains to be seen is if the world and characters of "Willow" warrants an expansion following this upcoming season.