Willow: we know why Val Kilmer is not in the Disney + series
< strong>Val Kilmer has not reprized his role in the new Willow series and producer Jon Kasdan has explained the reasons for his absence.
Diagnosed with throat cancer in 2014, Val Kilmer had to fight against the disease, undergoing a tracheostomy in the process which greatly altered his voice, now handicapping him in his activity. However, some big names in the industry have supported the actor in his terrible ordeal. Thus, Tom Cruise didn't want to shoot Top Gun: Maverick without Val Kilmer. Moreover, Joseph Kosinski paid a superb tribute to the interpreter via his character, Iceman, victim of the same tragedy in the film.
Other bridge to supporting comedian, Jon Kasdan, producer and writer of the series Willow, sequel to the eponymous feature film. The showrunner indeed wanted Val Kilmer to once again take on the features of Madmartigan, who accompanied Willow on her adventures, in the film by Ron Howard. However, Jon Kasdan had to give up on this idea for a very specific reason.
As the producer Entertainment Weekly reported while promoting the series, if Val Kilmer couldn't resume its role is in particular because of the Covid-19 pandemic:
“As Covid spread globally, the situation became untenable. We were organizing preparations in the spring of 2020, when the epidemic was at its peak. And Val, reluctantly, no longer felt able to turn. We had to figure out a way to preserve the story we originally wanted to tell with him, about the evolution of the plot around his character. »
Once again, the Covid has profoundly changed the conception of a work, beyond delays and production concerns. It is obvious that the state of health of Val Kilmer prevented him from participating in the series. Indeed, the actor belongs to a category of people who are very vulnerable to the effects of the virus. That's why, unfortunately, he won't be in the first season of Willow.
However, Jon Kasdan hasn't closed the door on Val Kilmer returning to the franchise. He also clarified that the actor and Madmartigan could make an appearance in a future season. A bit of a catchy precision, since the creator of the program has encouraged fans of Val Kilmer and the character to support the series so that he can return to the license in the future. If this season 1 works, a season 2 with possibly Val Kilmer could therefore see the light of day.
Anyway, we fully understand the reasons that forced Val Kilmer to withdraw from the project. It was obviously too risky for the actor to expose himself to the virus in view of his personal medical situation. In addition, if we can praise Jon Kasdan's support for the actor, we regret the promotion aspect of his baby through his words. The first two episodes of season 1 of Willow are available since November 30 on Disney+.