In a statement on his social media profiles, Jon M. Chu announced today that he will no longer be directing the forthcoming “Willow” sequel series on Disney Plus.
The “Crazy Rich Asians” and “In the Heights” director is stepping away from the whimsy of George Lucas’ realm of ethereal fairy-queens, two-headed monsters and prospective sorcerer dwarves, citing production lockdowns and personal reasons as motivating factors of his decision.
“With the production schedule moving due to continued lockdowns in the UK, with a new baby coming in the summer (surprise!), the timing is just not going to work for me and my family,” Chu wrote in a post on Twitter. The director said that he was “heartbroken” and “devastated” to not be able to work with his heroes “old and new” like showrunners Jonathan Kasdan (“Solo”) and Wendy Mericle (“Arrow”), consulting producer Bob Dolman, writer of the original 1988 film, as well as executive producers Michelle Rejwan, Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy and Ron Howard, who directed the original 1988 film.
— Jon M. Chu (@jonmchu) January 11, 2021
“Like a kid seeing Willow for the first time in the ’80s, I will look forward to watching this magical world unfold as a very enthusiastic fan,” Chu added. “And boy do they have an adventure in store for you!”
The events of the fantasy-action spinoff are set to take place years after the events of “Willow,” wherein original star Warwick Davis has been tapped to return as the titular protagonist Willow Ufgood. The sequel series is to be the first non-“Star Wars” Lucasfilm venture since 2015.