Warwick Davis' Willow is set to once again grace our screens before the year is out, this time in full streaming mode. "Willow," the 1988 fantasy adventure that first introduced us to Davis' aspiring sorcerer, is being revived in the form of a Disney+ show of the same name. Set to debut on November 30, 2022, the show promises to deliver all-new Warwick Davis' improvisations alongside all the charm of the original as Willow once again sets out on a quest surrounded by the usual group of enchanted fantasy archetypes. And it seems this time, keeping up with the ongoing trend of ever-escalating nostalgia hits in modern movies, there will be a hefty dose of 80s sentimentality working at the heart of the show — perhaps unsurprisingly propelled by another beloved movie of the decade: "Ghostbusters II"

As a kid, I saw "Ghostbusters" and "Ghostbusters II" as equal gateways into a magical, charming, and often downright terrifying netherworld. I was transported by those films and didn't really care which one of the two I used as the gateway. Fast forward to my adult years and I very quickly learned that most people actually thought the second movie was pretty disappointing compared to the original. And of course, as an adult, I can now see why, but that doesn't change how thrilling both films were for me at a young age.

Now it seems seven-year-old me has been vindicated by none other than the upcoming "Willow" series' showrunner Jon Kasdan. The co-writer of "Solo: A Star Wars Story" recently spoke to /Film's Bryan Young about the "Willow" show and revealed how he too was inspired by the excellent sequel that is "Ghostbusters II."

Ghostbusters II Was An Ongoing 'Point Of Reference'

Jon Kasdan, as it turns out, is a big fan of the original 1988 movie, and '80s movies in general. And it's that love for both "Willow" and that era's style of filmmaking that propelled him to push forward with the sequel series. Far from simply wanting to capitalize on the original movie's cult following, which seemingly grew exponentially since "Willow's" initial release, Kasdan is clearly passionate about the material and wanted to use "Willow" as a way to evoke that sense of excitement that so many seem to recall feeling in the pre-internet age. "Ghostbusters II" played a large role in that effort. As Kasdan explained:

"I had a producer named Max Taylor who I worked with pretty much every day on the show. And I don't think one of those days went by where we didn't reference 'Ghostbusters II' as a stalwart."

Why that particular movie? Well, Kasdan highlights the plot, which even now is considered one of "Ghostbusters II's" strong points. In fact, Kasdan found the plot so instructive, it became a "point of reference" for him and his producer in almost "every element" of making the "Willow" show.

Harold Ramis took a surprisingly metaphorical approach when honing the script for "Ghostbusters II." Ramis and star Dan Aykroyd envisioned the film's river of slime, which builds beneath New York's surface, as literally and metaphorically representative of the general toxicity brought about by negative emotions and, as Ramis told Rolling Stone, inspiration to prompt people to "come up with humane solutions." Pretty deep stuff for a comedy horror sequel, but effective nonetheless — and in the case of "Willow," seemingly bodes for some deeper metaphorical underpinnings to the show's plot.

'Those Are The Movies We Grew Up On'

Beyond using "Ghostbusters II" for plot-based reasons, Jon Kasdan's love for that whole era of film-making seems to have suffused the "Willow" series. The showrunner pointed to movies from that age as being what "we grew up on," highlighting the way specific tropes were executed and wanting to recreate the experience of "watching trailers as a kid." Indeed the original "Willow" teaser trailer was a big inspiration for Kasdan, which is a further testament to his love for the era and how the "Willow" series will benefit from it.

It remains to be seen exactly how successful the show will be in terms of balancing its love for the past with treading new ground. But having been made by fans of the original movie and the time in which that film was made, it has every chance of being great — especially with "Ghostbusters II" as a reference point. As Dan Aykroyd said in a retrospective on "Ghostbusters II:" "There's a lot of great stuff in the second movie, a lot of great stuff. That makes it a very worthy companion to the first for a sequel." And it was good enough to remain canon for "Ghostbusters: Afterlife" director Jason Reitman (but that's probably also because he's the son of the guy who directed "Ghostbusters II").

So there you have it — Dan Aykroyd, Jason Reitman, Jon Kasdan, and seven-year-old me understood it all along. And now, hopefully, "Willow" will help transport us all in the same way the "Ghostbusters" movies did for me. Either that or it will buckle under the weight of its fondness for nostalgia in much the same way "Ghostbusters: Afterlife" kinda did in 2021. We'll all have to go on our own mythical quest to find out when the show drops on November 30, 2022.

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