Val Kilmer forced to back out of ‘Willow’ role due to health concerns, showrunner says

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Val Kilmer was forced to back out of reprising his role for “Willow” due to his health issues, showrunner Jonathan Kasdan claimed in a new interview.

The first episode of the reboot was released on Nov. 30 on Disney+.

“As COVID overtook the world, it became insurmountable,” Kasdan told Entertainment Weekly. “We were prepping in the spring of the year that it was most happening. And Val reluctantly didn’t feel he could come out.”

Kilmer starred as Madmartigan in the original 1988 film alongside Warwick Davis.

Val Kilmer and the cast of the 1988 film “Willow.”
(Getty Images)

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“I remember going to see Val right after this thing started to get some momentum, and I said, ‘Listen, we’re doing this and the whole world wants Madmartigan back,'” the showrunner recalled to the outlet. “And he was like, ‘Not as much as I do.'”

“He embraced me when I left. He picked me up, and he said, ‘See? I’m still super strong.’ And I was like, ‘Great,'” Kasdan added. “We started building out the first season with the intent of having him appear. [It wasn’t clear we couldn’t get him] until pretty late in the process, frankly.”

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Val Kilmer photographed in 1988.

Val Kilmer photographed in 1988.
(Getty Images)

Despite not making an appearance in season one, Kasdan emphasized that there is a possibility Kilmer could still make his return. 

“We wanted to leave open the door to any possibility in the future and also honor the spirit of him,” he told EW. “We’ve tried to do that and work with him in a way so that he is felt and heard, if not seen.”

Kilmer was diagnosed with throat cancer in 2015. He was able to reprise his role as Iceman in “Top Gun: Maverick,” but the actor experienced difficulty due to damage from a tracheostomy.

“I can’t speak without plugging this hole [in his throat]. You have to make the choice to breathe or to eat,” he explained to People magazine in 2021. “It’s an obstacle that is very present with whoever sees me.”

Val Kilmer recently reprised his role as Iceman in "Top: Gun Maverick." 

Val Kilmer recently reprised his role as Iceman in “Top: Gun Maverick.” 
(Photo by CBS via Getty Images)

Source: Fox News


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