The 1988 Willow may not be a popular fantasy-adventure movie these days, but there was a time it was a must-watch for everyone. When George Lucas wasn’t writing the story for a new Star Wars or Indiana Jones movie, he was creating a story that would become yet another Box Office hit.
It may not have been compared to Lucas’ other Box Office hits, but for a fantasy-adventure movie with a budget of $35 million grossing $137.6 million at the Box Office, it was a great feat. For a movie with such success, one often wonders what happened to its cast 34 years after.
Now, Disney+ has released a sequel of the movie but in the form of a series. As a way to relive the memories of the movie, these are the top cast of Willow (1988) and how their lives turned out.
Warwick Davis as Willow Ufgood
Warwick Davis played the movie’s titular character and main protagonist. He was the Nelwyn farmer who was aspiring to become a powerful sorcerer. Willow’s kids saw Elora Danan as a baby and gave it to their father. Through a series of events, Willow would go out of his way to protect the child.
Before playing Willow Ufgood, Warwick Davis was already a known Hollywood actor. He had worked with George Lucas in several of his big movies, like three Ewok movies and in Return of the Jedi. Not a stranger to the fantasy-adventure genre, Warwick Davis would go on to have a successful acting career playing notable roles in successful movie franchises. Worthy of note is his character as Lubdan in the Leprechaun movies, Professor Filius Flitwick in Harry Potter, and Lickspittle in Maleficent: Mistress of Evil.
Jean Marsh as Queen Bavmorda
What’s a good fantasy movie without an evil force, or in this case, an evil Queen? Jean Marsh plays the role of Queen Bavmorda of Nockmaar, as well as mother of Sorsha. When she hears of a prophecy that her downfall will be brought about by a child with a special rune birthmark, Queen Bavmorda makes it her life’s mission to ensure the prophecy never comes true.
The English actress has had quite an extensive acting career spanning over 70 years. She took a hiatus from acting after she suffered a stroke sometime in 2011. But don’t think the 88-year-old actress has hung her boots as an actress. Marsh recently lent her voice as Queen Bavmorda in Disney+ 2022 TV series Willow. You can hear her voice as Bavmorda in the episode titled The Whispers of Nockmaar.
Val Kilmer as Madmartigan
Val Kilmer is not a strange face on TV screens, even for a much younger generation. In Willow (1988), he played the character of Madmartigan. Beyond the pretty face warrior, Madmartigan was a prideful mercenary swordsman. He would later help Willow Ufgood on his quest, but first, he would need to gain Willow’s trust.
Val Kilmer is probably the most successful, careerwise, of all the cast in this movie. He went on to play Bruce Wayne/Batman in the 1995 Batman Forever, Agent Andrew Pryzwarra in 2006 Déjà Vu, and also reprised his role as Admiral Tom ‘Iceman’ Kazansky in the 2022 Top Gun sequel, Top Gun: Maverick.
Joanne Whalley as Sorsha, Queen Bavmorda’s Daughter
When Queen Bavmorda learns that the prophesied baby is alive and has fled the castle, she sends her warrior daughter, Sorsha (played by Joanne Whalley), and her army General, Kael, to hunt and kill the baby. After accidentally being given a love potion, Madmartigan falls for Sorsha. She, too, would become a love interest and switch alliances to try to stop her mother.
Sorsha and Madmartigan took their love life outside the film as Val Kilmer and Jeanne Whalley got married the same year the movie was released in 1988. Although they filed for divorce in 1996, they remained as close friends. Joanne Whalley also went on to have an impressive acting career. Her last film was the 2020 Love Is Love Is Love where she played the character of Joanne. She’s also reprising her role as Sorsha in the 2022 Willow.
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