Jonathan Kasdan Wanted Willow’s Boorman To Keep The Spirit Of Val Kilmer In The Show

Val Kilmer quietly returned to the spotlight in 2021 thanks to Leo Scott and Ting Poo’s acclaimed documentary “Val,” a movie that includes a good deal of personal footage shot by Kilmer throughout his life and details his bout with throat cancer in the mid-2010s. He would go on to briefly (but memorably) reprise his role as Tom “Iceman” Kazansky in the hit sequel “Top Gun: Maverick” and was all set to return as Madmartigan for the “Willow” show. Sadly, however, he was forced to drop out at the last minute when he — quite understandably — decided it would’ve been too risky for his health post-cancer to travel and work on a series in the middle of a pandemic.

In an interview with Collider, Jonathan Kasdan indicated that Kilmer’s absence spurred him to ensure his character’s spirit could be keenly felt in Boorman. At the same time, he also had to ensure the latter was different enough to avoid coming across as little more than a Madmartigan knockoff. “It’s a hard thing to do, and we wanted to tie it very much to his character,” he explained, noting that, in many ways, he envisioned a younger Boorman was influenced by Madmartigan in some of the same ways he was growing up watching Kilmer in the “Willow” movie:

“I wanted to paint this picture in the audience’s mind of this skinny 16-year-old Boorman chasing after Madmartigan, and learning all of his sense of humor and approach to the world from Val’s character because I feel a little bit that way.”

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