The High Cost and Disappointing Reception of Disney Plus’ ‘Willow’ Series
Willow, a Disappointing Comeback
HBO has “Game of Thrones,” Netflix has “The Witcher,” Prime Video has “Rings of Power,” but Disney Plus was missing a major fantasy project. Finally, last year, Disney Plus released the ambitious series “Willow,” a sequel to the beloved cult film from 1988.
The first season of “Willow” received a decent average rating of 70% on Metacritic. However, it seems to have left its audience traumatized, as viewers gave it a rating of only 2.7/10. As a result, Disney deemed the series a failure and made the shocking decision to remove all episodes from Disney Plus. As of now, there is no legal way to watch “Willow” anymore, despite its budget of over 100 million dollars.
The High Cost of “Willow”
Forbes discovered through official Disney documents that the production of the “Willow” series cost a staggering $105.9 million, equivalent to over $13 million per episode. This amount is comparable to the production cost of the final season of “Game of Thrones.”
Less than a year after its release, “Willow” was removed from the Disney Plus catalog, and it is not available for purchase on DVD or Blu-Ray. This decision may have been made to save $1.5 billion in taxes, along with the removal of other projects like “Artemis Fowl” and “Y: The Last Man.”
To highlight the pressure faced by the creators, one of the screenwriters of “Willow,” Jonathan Kasdan, expressed his frustration, stating, “They gave us six months. Barely. This business has become absolutely cruel.” This is not the first time Disney has been accused of overwhelming its teams with a relentless production rate, as seen in their handling of Marvel and Star Wars projects. Even Bob Iger, the company’s CEO, acknowledged this issue in an interview.