Willow Showrunner Details Fake Movie Sequel That Inspired Episode 6

The sixth episode of Willow, "Prisoners of Skellin," was released on Disney+ today and featured the long-awaited debut of Christian Slater. Sadly, the new series does not feature Val Kilmer as Madmartigen, but his presence is felt throughout the show. In fact, the new episode sees Madmartigan's daughter Kit (Ruby Cruz) and his old pal Willow (Warwick Davis) getting catapulted and taken to an underground mine prison where they encounter Slater's character, Allagash, who has a history with Madmartigan. After initially pretending to be Kilmer's iconic character, Allagash reveals he fought alongside Madmartigen years before. During a recent interview with io9, showrunner Jonathan Kasdan details his idea of a Willow movie sequel starring Kilmer and Slater that never actually happened. 

"The idea immediately, once we saw where we were going with this, [is] there was a movie you never got to see," Kasdan explained. "It came out in 1992 and it was The Adventures of Madmartigan and it had Madmartigan leading a team of adventurers on a daring quest. And we thought, 'Who would be in that movie?' And Christian was the first name that popped into our heads." He added, "The first thing I told Christian when I was finally able to get him on the phone was exactly what I just told you. And he said, 'Absolutely, man, I would have been in that movie in a heartbeat.'"

Kasdan continued, "What's amazing about Christian is he has a real genuine love of genre ... He loves this kind of adventure story. He loves Star Wars, he loves swashbucklers and scoundrels, and he's been waiting to play one. So it was sort of serendipitous when this role emerged and we wanted someone who could fill in some of the gaps in what happened to Madmartigan and what that quest would be. But the first and most obvious thing about it was that that person would not be someone we could trust. He would have to be a real con man and a double dealer and out for himself in every way. And that was the second thing I explained to Christian. And he was even more in because he does that naturally."

Who Voices Madmartigan in Willow

Kilmer has struggled with his health after a battle with throat cancer, and filming during COVID didn't feel safe, so they ended up having to write him out of the Willow show. However, Kilmer did participate in the latest episode, which features the voice of Madmartigan. Kilmer's son with fellow Willow star Joanne Whalley, Jack Kilmer, actually provided Madmartigan's voice in the episode.

"Jack has been a great friend to Willow all along, you know," Kasdan recently told Decider. "Between Joanne and Val he basically is the child of the Willow franchise." Kasdan added, "We actually recorded with Val and we used his performance as a guide track. Then Jack was given Val's performance to listen to and then copy what his dad had done in terms of you know, the performance elements of Val's thing."

The first six episodes of Willow are now streaming on Disney+.