Movies & TV Shows

How Willow Show Addresses Val Kilmer’s Madmartigan Absence Explained

Willow showrunner, Jonathan Kasdan, recently explained how the upcoming Disney+ sequel series addresses Madmartigan’s absence. Val Kilmer starred as the charming warrior in the original 1988 Ron Howard movie of the same name. Freed by Willow Ufgood (Warwick Davis), Madmartigan joins the Nelwyn aspiring sorcerer on his quest to return the mysterious baby, Elora Danan, back to her people. Due to pandemic-related restrictions, Kilmer was unable to travel to the show’s on-location set and will unfortunately not reprise his role in the show. However, Kasdan has previously stated that Madmartigan will be a part of Willow in some way.


Speaking at a recent press conference (via SYFY), Kasdan discussed how the Disney+ Willow series addresses Madmartigan’s absence. The sequel show finds Queen Sorsha’s (Joanne Whalley) son, Airk (Dempsey Bryk), kidnaped by evil forces. In an attempt to rescue him, Airk’s sister, Princess Kit Tanthalos (Ruby Cruz) assembles a small team of trusted friends and enlists the aid of Willow. Kasdan revealed that Madmartigan’s disappearance will be a significant mystery in the story and will play a part in Kit’s quest. Read what the Willow showrunner said below:

“Because we were telling a story that had so many young characters, and that they were all searching for their identity, the search for Madmartigan and the question of what had happened to him was right at the heart of the story we were telling. We knew that it would be woven into this [new] quest in a fundamental way, to see where he was and what had become him and what he’d given up, particularly for Ruby’s character, Kit, and for Dempsey’s character, Airk, in order to do good. That question follows the whole season.”

“We had a lot of ideas about ways to pay it off and ways to leave it open. One thing that happened, because Val himself wasn’t able to come out to Wales and work with us, was that we added this texture of a friend of Madmartigan’s who could give us some clues about his whereabouts and deepen the mystery around what happened to him in a way that actually extended the story we were already telling. It was very satisfying, and it provided an opportunity for us to add a whole new element that we didn’t expect to the show.”

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How Can Madmartigan Return In The Willow Show?

Val Kilmer as Madmartigan in Willow

Although Madmartigan will not feature in the sequel series, Kasdan has also revealed that the warrior is still alive and his presence will definitely be felt through a subplot by the way of a new character who had previously befriended him. The mysterious character may act as a surrogate to Madmartigan, a way to discuss his absence while honoring the actor’s legacy in the franchise. This would allow Madmartigan’s backstory to be revealed while connecting his departure to the central quest of the WIllow show.

A recently released Willow clip revealed that Airk was taken by agents of a villain called the Withered Crone who resides in a city that lies beyond the treacherous Shattered Sea. Although details regarding why Airk was kidnaped has remained under wraps, Madmartigan’s disappearance may be at the heart of that mystery. With Kilmer confirmed to have sat out on the entirety of the season, if Willow returns for season 2, the question of Madmartigan’s absence will likely play a key role in the story, and thus allow Kilmer to return to the character in some capacity.

With Kevin Pollak and Rick Overton reprising their roles as brownie partners Rool and Franjean respectively, joining returning stars Davis and Whalley, Kilmer’s absence will surely be felt by fans. Madmartigan proved to be a vital ally to Willow in the original film as they managed to rally an army against the evil Queen Bavmorda, save Elora from certain death, and bring peace back to the land. If Willow is picked up for a season 2, perhaps audiences will see Madmartigan will pick up a sword and stand against evil one more time.

Next: Willow TV Show’s Marketing Points Out The Problem With Legacy SequelsSource: SYFY

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