Val Kilmer will not return as Madmartigan in the Disney+ series Willow, according to reports.
Following the Star Wars Celebration panel last Thursday (May 26), reports circulated that the actor would reprise his role from the 1988 fantasy film in the upcoming series. According to Entertainment Weekly however, the reports were inaccurate and Kilmer will not be starring in the show.
The actor, who recently featured in Top Gun: Maverick in a small role, has struggled with his speech following a two-year battle with throat cancer.
Kilmer’s character Madmartigan will be featured in the series in some capacity. Speaking to Yahoo Entertainment, executive producer Jonathan Kasdan said: “Val’s a huge part of this, and the first conversation I had, when Warwick and I got the green light to do this, was with Val. We wanted his character to be a part of the story. We wanted him to be in the show.
“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.”
Warwick Davis, who is set to reprise his role as sorcerer Willow Ufgood, added: “Val’s spirit is very much with the series.”
The series is a continuation set years after events in the original film. It also stars Joanne Whalley as Sorsha and Ruby Cruz as Sorsha and Madmartigan’s daughter, Princess Kit. Erin Kellyman, Ellie Bamber, Tony Revolori, Amer Chadha-Patel and Dempsey Bryk also star.
A synopsis for the show reads: “Now, 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 the world.”
Willow is scheduled to be released on Disney+ from November 30, 2022.