Willow: Stephen Woolfenden Steps In As Pilot Director After Jonathan Entwistle Exits

EXCLUSIVE: Willow, the Disney+ and Lucasfilm fantasy series based on the 1988 movie, has changed its pilot director for the second time.

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Jonathan Entwistle, who had signed up for the job in late January, calling it “a dream come true,” left the project in April, I have learned. Entwistle replaced Jon M. Chu, who had stepped down two weeks prior citing scheduling concerns.

The production schedule for Willow was pushed, in part because of a recasting of one of the leads. As a result, Entwistle left during prep in April due to a scheduling conflict with his Apple TV+ series Hello Tomorrow, starring Billy Crudup, which is about to start production.

I hear Entwistle’s exit did not impact production. Stephen Woolfenden (Outlander), a producing director on the Willow series, stepped in to shoot the first two episodes, which now have been completed. A rep for Lucasfilm declined comment.

2020-21 Disney+ Pilots & Series Orders

Ellie Bamber, Ruby Cruz, Erin Kellyman, Amer Chadha-Patel and Tony Revolori star in Willow, a follow-up to the 1988 fantasy movie, with the film’s star Warwick Davis reprising his title role.

The new incarnation comes from Jonathan Kasdan, who wrote the pilot and serves as co-showrunner alongside Wendy Mericle; the original film’s director Ron Howard and writer Bob Dolman; as well as Lucasfilm, which produced the movie.

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