Val Kilmer will join “Willow,” the TV sequel to the 1988 cult classic movie of the same name, reprising the role of Madmartigan, according to the show’s creators.
Kilmer, 62, joins returning stars Warwick Davis, 52, who plays the movie’s titular sorcerer, and Joanne Whaley, 60.
The news comes after Disney+ and Lucasfilm unveiled the first official teaser trailer for “Willow” at its Star Wars Celebration fan event on Thursday in Anaheim, California. After Kilmer was not shown in the trailer, fans wondered whether he would be returning to play the heroic swordsman Madmartigan. Kilmer has battled throat cancer in recent years, a condition which has left it hard for him to speak and, consequently, take on acting roles.
However, “Willow” executive producer Jonathan Kasdan says Kilmer will absolutely be in the series. “Val’s a huge part of this, and the first conversation I had, when Warwick and I got the greenlight to do this, was with Val,” Kasdan told Yahoo! Entertainment.
“We wanted his character to be a part of the story,” he added. “We wanted him to be in the show.”
Kasdan went on to explain that, “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.”
Star Davis added, “Val’s spirit is very much with the series.”
“[Val and I] have been in touch since we made the movie, and we’re good friends and he’s a terrific guy,” he continued. “I still attribute me getting through the film to Val. He kept my spirits up when conditions were really treacherous and difficult. I was cold, wet, tired. He kept me laughing, kept the whole thing fun.”
New cast member Ruby Cruz also said, “He’s part of the show in a very big way for my character.”
Set 20 years after the events of the original movie in a magical world where brownies, sorcerers, trolls, and other mystical creatures flourish, the adventure continues, as an unlikely group of heroes set off on a dangerous quest to places far beyond their home, where they must face their inner demons and come together to save their world.
“Willow” premieres on Disney+ November 30.