Disney+’s new Willow series has been filming across Wales over the summer. The good news is the locations are as exotic and varied as the original film, if not more so by the sound of things. This is very pleasing to this Willow fan as it appears the series will give us the scope of the Willow sequel I have wanted and imagined since 1988.
Warwick Davis has been seen filming at every location listed in this article. That makes me extremely happy as this is Willow after all. But with new emerging characters, if not written properly we could see Willow taking a backseat to the new cast. That does not appear to be the case in this story at all.
Because the Lucasfilm production is filming at Dinorwic Slate Quarry, I am assuming we will see the return of Queen Bavmorda’s Nockmar Castle. It would be weird to film at the exact locations of the original film for a new place, although I suppose it is possible that could happen.
Here’s Warwick confirming the original production filmed there in eighties:
Yes, a slate quarrey near Snowdonia was the backdrop for the huge set that was Queen Bavmorda’s Nockmar Castle. https://t.co/d6oUQptILt
— Warwick Davis (@WarwickADavis) January 30, 2019
The Disney+ Willow series is being filmed at Dragon International Film Studios in Bridgend. The studio has four sound stages ranging between 10,000 square feet to 20,000 square feet in size. This is where the interiors are being shot and a few large sets have been built so far. The production has been filming at the studio since production began and are they are currently filming at the studio as of this writing.
One larger set at Dragon Studios is a castle which has a massive gate. There is a courtyard inside with what appears to be an altar on one side with green screens on each side of the main entrance. It might be the kind of place you can sacrifice someone, such as this kidnapped twin prince that launches the adventure. But that’s an assumption.
A village set was constructed at Dragon Studios which looks rather medieval, as one would expect for a fantasy adventure like this. There were three buildings around a tree with beautiful red leaves. However, over the last few days, scenes were shot with the village being engulfed in flames. After the fire sequences were completed, Lucasfilm has been filming with what appears to be the smoldering remains of the village itself.
Willow has been filming at Saundersfoot, Pembrokeshire. Willow has also been filming in Tenby, Pembrokeshire. Pembrokeshire is in West Wales. They filmed here from mid July into August. Below are images of Tenby and Saundersfoot.
Filming also commence at Mynydd Llangynidr Quarry in Brecon Beacons and at Pontsticill reservoir, South Wales in August. They previously filmed at the Brecon Beacons in June.
In August they also filmed at the Morlais Quarry, Merthyr Tydfil. Including day and night shoots at Morlais and Pontsticill. Both located in South Wales.
Morlais Quarry and Mynydd Llangyindr Quarry sets appear to show the remains of a burned out castle. There actually built little stone structures not unlike the beehive huts from The Last Jedi (but more pyramid shaped) with door frames on each side. I speculate these go underground below the burned out castle and that’s why they actually built it here.
I think we should also mention Morlais Castle which they have been filming around.
At this location, they made little tents not unlike the Tusken Raider tents in Attack of the Clones for a small village, I assume.
If my speculation is correct about Morlais Castle and we see beneath Nockmaar Castle in the story, check this out:
I also saw a beautiful white horse at these locations. I am assuming the horse belongs to one of the heroes, maybe Dove? I am no horse expert but I imagine a beautiful white horse will not be used for a random bad guy or something.
As mentioned at the top of the article, the production filmed at the Dinorwic Quarry in North Wales in May and June. This is the location used for Bavmorda’s castle in the original film. I would not mind if that beautiful water ended up in the series. Has the area regrown and restored itself since Bavmorda or is it still as desolate at it appeared in the original film? Hopefully someone gets turned into pig there.
The quarry today is picture below:
I have so many questions and not many answers. The red leaved tree sounds fascinating. Is it magical or just a tree? Does it connect to Elora and Sorsha? Is the burning of this tree nothing but raiders bringing destruction or is it crucial to the plot and what starts the story up again?
I am loving the scope of the series. I can’t wait to see what the new Willow series brings us. Hopefully we have more information on Willow as the series’ production progresses.