Back in the 1980s there was a cute little movie called Willow. Featuring Warwick Davis, Val Kilmer and others, the film opened well and then petered out. But among certain fans it maintained this legacy and appeal. There’s a little person (Davis), even littler people (two Brownies), Kilmer with a sword! and extraordinary effects. The story is quite a traditional tale of people without anything in common trying to save the world.
Eventually when it was on video tape it developed a reputation as a grand adventure and we all loved it.
Now, there’s a new Willow — with the same message, better effects and even more of everything. The cast is wider and the story more grand. It looks like an epic Dungeons & Dragons tale.
That trailer shows every member of the party featured in the spotlight. Some are noble. Others are urchins. There are sorcerers and fighters. Davis is back and so are the Brownies. The princess is now longer a baby. Where the original Willow explores just a single continent in the world the new series explores the world and more.
It’s an epic fantasy tale and another example of the wide variety of fantasy that is available in the 2020s. Sword & Sorcery, Epics, Grim dark, Magipunk, comedy and more subgenres of fantasy are available. Every streaming platform is hoping for a tentpole series, with none dominating right now.
Like, there’s a lot of fantasy and there’s more to come.
Honor Among Thieves looks like it will great. Wheel of Time is still in the Top 10 for Prime Video Streams. House of the Dragon and Rings of Power are battling every week to be the most watched non-sports/awards show. Legends of Vox Machina season two is still to come. Witcher season three. Shadow and Bone.
Outlander, Last Kingdom and Black Sails are genre adjacent in that they are period shows that people who play D&D think of when they play D&D.
All of this isn’t powered by franchises like Marvel, DC, Star Wars or Star Trek.
Fantasy is capturing global imaginations and our dreams. We’re watching. We’re playing. We’re creating new stories with the old tropes seen a right angle so as to capture the people who we’ve always been. Fantasy is built around tales of cooperation among those with different backgrounds, skill sets and races. Fantasy is built around the authentic statement that the diverse group is the strong group — it’s been true for the millennia of myths about dragons and the people who fight them.