Lucasfilm’s Willow Disney+ series is going need of a new director. Jon M. Chu was set to direct the series pilot, but announced today that he’s stepping away from the show, due to scheduling complications, and because his family is expecting a baby later this summer.
Chu is on record as being a huge fan of the original movie—he named his daughter after the film’s titular character—and in a message on Twitter, he said that he was “devastated that I won’t be able to work with some of my heroes old and new.”
Word of the series began to surface a year ago when writer Jon Kasdan revealed that he was developing a continuation of the story for Disney+ after working with the film’s director, Ron Howard, on the film Solo: A Star Wars Story.
The project won’t be a reboot of the film, but a sequel that will take place “decades” after the events of the movie, and last October, Disney officially greenlit the project, with film star Warwick Davis returning to reprise his character, and with Chu tapped to direct the pilot episode.
The series is gearing up to begin production in Wales in 2021, and set to bring in Ellie Bamber (Pride and Prejudice and Zombies), Erin Kellyman (Solo), and Cailee Spaeny (Pacific Rim: Uprising) on in unknown roles. The show will reportedly follow a group of characters as they embark on a quest to save a prince.
With today’s announcement, there’s no word on how Chu’s departure will affect the show’s production, or its eventual release date on the streaming service.