Why Val Kilmer Pulled Out of Disney+’s Willow Series

Madmartigan’s return was closer than we thought. 

The new Disney+ series Willow, premiering Nov. 30 on the streamer, is based on the 1988 fantasy adventure movie of the same name. In the film, Val Kilmer played the role of hunky swordsman Madmartigan who helped the titular Willow (Warwick Davis) on his epic journey.

According to Willow showrunner Jake Kasdan, things nearly came together for Kilmer to reprise his role in the series.

“We really wanted Val to come be in the show,” Kasdan told Entertainment Weekly Nov. 29. “And Val really wanted to come out and be in the show. I remember going to see Val right after this thing started to get some momentum, and I said, ‘Listen, we’re doing this. And the whole world wants Madmartigan back.’ And he was like, ‘Not as much as I do.'”

Kilmer, who was diagnosed with throat cancer in 2015, has continued to work throughout his health struggle, including an emotional reprisal of his role of Iceman in 2022’s Top Gun: Maverick.

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