Now, this isn’t a “creative differences” departure. Chu cites that the production schedule for Willow has moved due to lockdown restrictions in the UK. Additionally, his family is expecting a new addition come summer.
With the production schedule moving due to continued lockdowns in the UK, and with a new baby coming this summer (surprise!), the timing is just not going to work out for me and my family.
The announcement of a Willow series, which is based on the 1988 film of the same name, took the internet by storm back in October. Ron Howard is returning as executive producer and director for the impending show. Warwick Davis is reprising his role as Willow Ufgood. A trio of performers was announced to join the series as well. Ellie Bamber, Erin Kellyman and Cailee Spaeny will portray new characters in the Willow universe. The Willow show will take place years after the events of the film.
Chu is most known for directing the critically acclaimed rom-com Crazy Rich Asians. Additionally, he was at the helm for 2016’s Now You See Me 2 and G.I. Joe: Retaliation. His next project, Lin-Manuel Miranda‘s In the Heights, is due for release this summer. In November of 2020, Chu was purportedly in talks to helm a live-action Lilo & Stitch film, but word on whether he signed the dotted line hasn’t been made public.
While I’m sad to see Chu leave Willow, his reasons are totally understandable. Production setbacks can hamper any director’s schedule, especially if they have other projects on the horizon. Not only that but preparing for the birth of a newborn is an all-hands-on-deck situation. My sincerest congratulations to Chu and his family for the upcoming arrival of their little one.
You can read Chu’s full statement below.
What do you think about Jon M. Chu departing Disney Plus’ Willow series? Sound off in the comments below!