'Willow' TV Series Loses Director Jon M. Chu

The Disney+ Willow TV series has lost its director. Crazy Rich Asians filmmaker Jon M. Chu was locked in to direct the show's pilot episode and serve as executive producer, but Chu took to social media today to announce that he has to leave the project. Chu cited continued lockdowns in the UK and the future arrival of a new baby as the reasoning behind stepping away from the series.

The news that Jon M. Chu would direct the Willow TV series broke late last year, with Chu offering up a heartfelt statement about working on the show:

"Growing up in the '80s, Willow has had a profound effect on me," said Chu. "The story of the bravest heroes in the least likely places allowed me, an Asian-American kid growing up in a Chinese restaurant looking to go to Hollywood, to believe in the power of our own will, determination and of course, inner magic. So the fact that I get to work with my heroes from Kathleen Kennedy to Ron Howard is bigger than a dream-come-true. It's a bucket-list moment for me. Jon Kasdan and Wendy Mericle have added such groundbreaking new characters and delightful surprises to this timeless story that I can't wait for the world to come along on this epic journey with us."

Sadly, Chu is no longer in the director's chair. The filmmaker released the following statement today:

The series is set to begin production this year in Wales, where much of the original film was shot. There's no word yet on who might replace Chu, but Jonathan Kasdan, who wrote the script for the pilot, is still on board, serving as executive producer along with Wendy Mericle. The Willow TV series is based on the 1988 fantasy epic directed by Ron Howard, and promises to introduce "all-new characters to the enchanted realm of fairy queens and two-headed Eborsisk monsters, and welcomes back its namesake hero, Willow Ufgood, performed once again by the unmatchable Warwick Davis."

Howard is still on board as executive producer as well. "It's creatively exciting to not only revisit the world and characters first conceived by George Lucas, Bob Dolman, and myself but to see it take flight in such fresh, fun and cinematic ways through the imagination of Jon Kasdan and Team Willow," Howard said when the show was announced. "This isn't a nostalgic throw-back, it's a creative lean-forward and it's a blast to be a part of it all."