Willow Sequel

The American Cinematheque hosted a tribute to Ron Howard over the weekend, concluding with a screening of Willow. Howard and screenwriter Bob Dolman gave a Q&A after the screening and one of the stories they shared was about how the wife of The Hero’s Journey writer Joseph Campbell inspired a line that Howard put in the film. But the story begins earlier when producer George Lucas invited the filmmakers to dinner with the Campbells.

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Final cut is the privilege all directors want and only a select few can claim: the power to deliver their cut of the film without studio interference. Ron Howard is one director who has such clout, and he’s earned it with Oscar-nominated and winning films like Apollo 13 and A Beautiful Mind, and crowd-pleasers like Coccoon, Splash and Backdraft.

Willow was actually the first movie on which Howard received final cut, the director revealed at an American Cinematheque screening celebrating his work. He has producer George Lucas to thank for it.

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Willow Star Wars

Willow was one of George Lucas’ post-Star Wars projects. While the latter was Lucas’s take on a space epic, Willow was his take on sword and sorcery. The Wookiepedia entry for Willow collects some sources that suggest Willow is actually part of that galaxy far, far away , perhaps on one planet in the Star Wars universe.

Wookiepedia cites the April Fool’s Joke that started this theory, yet the entry remains. At an American Cinematheque Q&A following a 70mm screening of Willow, director Ron Howard refuted the theory once and for all.

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revisiting willow

While he was on the press circuit for Solo: A Star Wars Story this summer, Ron Howard revealed that Lucasfilm was considering a follow-up to Willow, the 1988 fantasy Howard directed for George Lucas. This weekend, American Cinematheque screened Willow at a tribute to Howard’s career and Howard gave a Q&A along with screenwriter Bob Dolman.

During the Q&A, Howard again said that there is something in the works with Willow. After the Q&A, /Film approached Howard to follow up. If there is a Willow sequel, would Howard be involved again?

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Ralph Breaks the Internet - Imagine Dragons Music Video

In this edition of Sequel Bits:

  • Watch an Imagine Dragons music video created for Ralph Breaks the Internet
  • An update to the Monarch website has some news about Godzilla‘s activity
  • Get some new details on the possibility of a Willow sequel
  • See a new clip from Johnny English Strikes Again
  • Find out which Muppets characters will be popping up in Wreck-It Ralph 2

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Willow Sequel

Ron Howard is out there promoting Solo: A Star Wars Story, but he’s also thinking about another potential special effects-filled blockbuster: Willow 2. After 30 years, Howard says a Willow sequel is now being discussed.

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revisiting willow

(Welcome to Nostalgia Bomb, a series where we take a look back on beloved childhood favorites and discern whether or not they’re actually any good. In this edition: Willow turns 30 and we take a look back.)

Every summer, my great Aunt Nancy would come to visit my family all the way from Hoboken, New Jersey. She would smell of tub roses, wear long sleeved cardigans in 80 degree weather, and refused to sit in the driver’s seat of a car. She seemed out of a children’s book novel – as perfectly perfect as any woman could be. Yet somehow around the mid-90s, she became even more grand, after admitting a secret: “Willow is my favorite movie.”

And if you were a nerdy kid of such a VHS driven time, this was delightful news to your ears.

With the click of the remote control, Nancy (and a six-year-old me) were transported into this high fantasy world created by George Lucas and director Ron Howard. Lush forests, intimidating mountains, and a rich color palette took over our sight. The cries of an infant, and a powerful musical score, filled our ears – we were fully invested in this cinematic adventure.

With the 30th anniversary of Willow here this week (it was released in theaters on May 20, 1988), I decided it was time to take a trip back to Tir Asleen and see if everything looked the same. What lessons can the film teach moviegoers 30 years later? Does it retain that same flawless childhood magic? And is it too weird to say I still have a crush on Madmartigan?

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Dead Friends - Morning Watch

(The Morning Watch is a recurring feature that highlights a handful of noteworthy videos from around the web. They could be video essays, fanmade productions, featurettes, short films, hilarious sketches, or just anything that has to do with our favorite movies and TV shows.)

In this edition, watch an animated short about a zombie and his dog living in a post-apocalyptic world. Plus, check out a remix of The Goonies from Eclectic Method, as well as a video essay focusing on the odd trend in cinema of having characters sliding down mountains, water slides, and mud slides in the 1980s and 1990s, and a hypothesis about why it was a phenomenon at the time. Read More »

willow 2

Are you a massive Willow fan? Then today’s your lucky day, because director Ron Howard didn’t totally brush off the idea of doing a sequel to the film. It’s been almost 30 years since the fantasy picture, starring Warwick Davis (Life’s Too Short) and Val Kilmer (Top Secret!), was released, but it’s a world Howard wouldn’t mind returning to.

Read the In the Heart of the Sea‘s director’s comments after the jump.

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When you think Lucasfilm, you probably think of two things: Star Wars and Indiana Jones. Both creations of filmmaker George Lucas, those two franchises put Lucasfilm on the map and made the company what is today: an entity that cost Disney $4 billion. But Lucasfilm isn’t only Star Wars and Indiana Jones. Proof of that hit theaters this past weekend as they released Strange Magic, an animated fairy tale Lucas himself conceived and produced.

That got us thinking, what else has Lucasfilm done? What are they without their two big superstars? The answer is “a lot” and “something pretty special.” Below, read our ranking of the 10 best Lucasfilm movies, minus Star Wars and Indiana Jones. Read More »