Film Writer Says New Disney+ Sequel’s Creative Process Had “More Of A Corporate Feeling” Than The 1988 Film

Dec 17, 2022

It’s no secret that George Lucas struggled to develop 1988’s “Willow.” Lucas hatched his idea for the film before “Star Wars,” but he couldn’t make it until he approached Ron Howard to direct in 1985. Shortly afterward, MGM entered the production process, Bob Dolman came on board to pen the script, and things moved forward. And while Lucas was very hands-on during the writing process of “Willow,” Dolman preferred that experience to the one he just had writing the Disney+ sequel series on the streamer now.
READ MORE: ‘Willow’ Review: No Magic In The World Can Save This Underdeveloped Legacy Sequel
Dolman spoke to The Hollywood Reporter about writing on the new show and said that it had “more of a corporate feeling” than his experience with Lucas and Howard. “It felt that the studio was over our shoulder quite a bit — the studio being Disney and also Lucasfilm,” Dolman said. “They had good input; they had good notes. You have to move a series along, and you have to be involved in it. But I felt like we weren’t left alone enough just to toss ideas around and have the kind of freedom that I had when I was working with George and Ron.”  
While writing “Willow,” Dolman dealt with lots of input from Lucas on the script, but he was also able to fiddle around with his own ideas. “George was really hands-on, wanting to go page by page through each draft, talk about everything we were doing and then send me back to do another draft,” Dolman continued, but that’s common collaboration when working on scripts. Being part of the TV series writing team didn’t have that same sense of freedom for Dolman. Dolman preferred to “not be worried about whether or not an idea was good or bad,” on the original film’s script, “just trying things out and taking a chance and having the courage to even find a bad idea, knowing that it could lead to a good idea.”
Unfortunately, that level of freedom in screenwriting isn’t the norm in Hollywood anymore. “There are a lot of voices, and some of them aren’t necessarily voices that know more than the people that have been hired,” Dolman said on writing scripts in today’s climate. “But those voices are heard, and notes are given. In the writing room of “Willow” the TV series, there was constant input from other sources outside of the room. So it felt to me like we were never really alone in the room.”
Disney+’s “Willow” serves as a direct sequel to the 1988 film. The new series sees Warwick Davis and Joanne Whalley reprise their roles in a new dark fantasy adventure, with Davis’ Willow leading a new party to rescue a kidnapped twin. The show’s first two episodes hit the streamer on November 30, with new episodes premiering every Wednesday through its eight-episode run. The series also stars Ellie Bamber, Ruby Cruz, Erin Kellyman, Tony Revolori, and Amar Chadha-Patel.  
So, does Dolman endorse Disney+’s sequel to “Willow,” even if it feels more like a corporate venture? Of course, but the writer prefers how they handled writing in 1988 to now. “The creative process was a really happy experience, and a lot of that got through onto the screen,” Dolman said of the original film. It’s too early to tell how “Willow” the TV series fares with critics and audiences, but it sounds like the original was a more satisfying experience on the creative end.

Disclaimer: This story is auto-aggregated by a computer program and has not been created or edited by filmibee.
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