One of the most popular characters in the original 1988 Willow movie was Val Kilmer’s Madmartigan, as he basically acted as the Han Solo of this classic fantasy adventure movie. Madmartigan was one of the three main characters of Willow, alongside Willow and Sorsha. While we do know that the actors of Willow and Sorsha are returning in the upcoming Willow series on Disney+, things might not be the same for Val Kilmer. So, will Val Kilmer return as Madmartigan in the Willow series?
It is unlikely that Val Kilmer’s Madmartigan will return to the Willow series. That’s because Kilmer has lost the ability to speak in his battle with throat cancer. However, according to series creator Jonathan Kasdan, Madmartigan’s presence will still be a big part of the Willow series and that he hasn’t been ruled out yet.
The fact that Val Kilmer’s Madmartigan is unlikely to return to Willow is a huge blow to fans of the character. But it is understandable why he won’t be returning as he hasn’t been quite active as an actor since losing his ability to speak. Of course, he is still a part of the entire Willow series in one form or another, and that’s what we are here to discuss in this article.
Will Val Kilmer’s Madmartigan Return In The Willow Series?
After Lucasfilm created a massive hit in the Star Wars trilogy, George Lucas decided to dive into the dark fantasy adventure genre with Willow, which is a 1988 film that followed the exploits of the titular character in his attempt to safeguard a baby that was meant to be the prophesized empress that threatened the rule of the evil Queen Bavmorda.
But while Warwick Davis’s Willow character was the star of that movie, people were drawn to Val Kilmer’s Madmartigan, who was one of the main characters of the film as well. Madmartigan was the chaotic outlaw that ever only looked out for himself. However, thanks to Willow and the grand quest he was pulled into, Madmartigan ended up joining the side of the people that fought against the evil queen’s tyranny. And it was due to Madmartigan that Sorsha, the queen’s daughter, decided to betray her mother and denounce her evil ways.
Of course, Madmartigan lived happily ever after with Sorsha while Willow returned to his village as a hero. But the thing is that we all know that the Willow movie never had a continuation story on film until now as a Willow series was created to serve as the legacy storyline to the 1988 movie. Despite the 34-year difference between the movie and the series, Warwick Davis and Joanne Whalley will be returning to the series to reprise their roles as Willow and Sorsha, respectively.
So, now that two of the three main characters will be returning to the series, this leaves us wondering whether or not Val Kilmer, who enjoyed success as a star after Willow, will be returning to the series. And this was something that was answered by series creator Jonathan Kasdan.
In an interview with Syfy, Kasdan said:
“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.”
Basically, Kasdan said that Val Kilmer’s Madmartigan would not be returning to the series. But he also said that he is still a big part of the entire series because his character’s storyline is still deeply embedded in the greater tale that will be told by the Willow series. Of course, the series will follow Willow and the journey he will be undertaking together with five young characters that all have their own stories to tell and inner demons to confront.
In that regard, Madmartigan’s story and presence will be felt in the journey that these characters are going to undertake. There is also a rumor that Christian Slater’s character will be playing the role of a person who is friends with Madmartigan. And that means that we might end up feeling Madmartigan’s presence through Slater’s character.
Why Isn’t Val Kilmer Returning To Willow?
We know that the actors of Willow all enjoyed their own success stories in life after the movie, as they became household names in the world of movies and television. Val Kilmer quite arguably became the most successful out of all of them. But why isn’t he returning to Willow?
The reason why Val Kilmer won’t be returning to Willow anytime soon is the fact that he was diagnosed with throat cancer several years back. He won his battle with the disease, but several health issues continued to plague him after his treatments. Kilmer lost his ability to speak and now has to use a voice box to communicate.
Of course, we did see Kilmer playing a small role in the latest Top Gun movie as he reprised his classic 1986 character. But his voice was produced by AI technology in that movie. And because Willow was filmed in Whales, Kilmer needed to step back from the role as filming in such a location demanded a lot from him in the physical sense.
Will Val Kilmer’s Madmartigan Ever Return To Willow?
While Val Kilmer’s Madmartigan won’t be returning to the Willow series that will be released soon enough, the thing is that the doors aren’t closed for his return. He may be an older man that has been battling with health issues, but he can still act and play a few roles that aren’t exactly tough on his body. That is why Jon Kasdan never closed the doors on a possible return for Kilmer’s Madmartigan.
Of course, we previously said that Christian Slater is possibly going to play a mysterious role that is connected to Madmartigan, and that means that Kilmer’s character will be felt through him. But we also know that Kit and her brother are the legacy characters of Madmartigan in Willow.
That means that there is a good chance that Madmartigan will return in the future, depending on Val Kilmer’s health and availability. Fans will surely be delighted to see all three of the main characters of the original movie back together for a reunion. And the only thing we can wish for right now is for Kilmer to become healthy again so that he could reprise his role as the iconic Madmartigan.