Willow has always kind of been a dark horse of the Lucasfilm world. But reports of its Disney+ series cancellation may have been premature.
Its showrunner, Jonathan Kasdan, recently tweeted in reference to a headline from Deadline, which reported that the show would not return for a second season on the streaming service. Instead, he clarifies a few things. The show isn’t altogether canceled… it’s more on an extended hiatus. When the production of any series or film hits a lull and actors are locked into contracts, they really have no reliable way to make income. When Disney+ shifted gears, they decided to release the show’s cast from their contracts. Hence the reports that the show was over, and now Kasdan’s insistence that it will return, eventually.
You can read Kasdan’s lengthy letter to fans about the status of Willow below:
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The whole thing is indicative of a bigger problem with streaming. All of the impetus for crafting new original stories on streaming services comes from pulling in new subscribers. If your show isn’t doing that, you’re not really getting any value out of it. If people aren’t signing up for your streaming service because of a new show on the level of something like Stranger Things, you’re wasting potential.
This is also why shows at Netflix rarely make it past the first season, even if critics fall in love with them. It’s just statistically unlikely that people are creating accounts just to watch the second season of something. Of course, retaining subscribers is also important, but how many times have you forgotten to cancel a subscription?
Critics and fans both generally liked Willow, and it was great to see an old classic dusted off. While the original film didn’t really do as well at the box office as expected, it has become an enduring piece of high fantasy. Until Disney is convinced that people will tune in again, it’s unlikely that we’ll see Willow return.
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