An important Willow character makes a triumphant comeback in “Prisoners of Skellin,” speaking to his daughter Kit in the voice of Madmartigan. Due to his pre-existing health issues and the Covid-19 travel restrictions, Val Kilmer decided not to reprise his role from the 1988 film, making this Madmartigan’s first “appearance” in the Disney+ sequel series. With Madmartigan’s daughter Kit as one of the main characters, the main quest involving saving Madmartigan’s son Airk, & Madmartigan’s wife Sorsha ruling from Tir Asleen, his influence and legacy have played a significant role in the series. Kit has been anxious to know what happened to her father despite his absence and has looked for answers everywhere.
In the Dread Mines of Skellin, where Kit and Willow are held captive by trolls, Christian Slater’s character, who is posing as Madmartigan, provides Kit with her best response to date. For the real Madmartigan to be able to escape the trolls & enter Wiggleheim’s tomb to locate the Cuirass, Allagash tried to pretend to be Madmartigan. As a result, Kit hears her father’s voice once she enters the tomb later in the episode. Showrunner Jon Kasdan describes on Twitter that they were able to create the audio cameo by voice-recording Kilmer and his son Jack and then using artificial intelligence. Check out Kadan’s explanation below:
#Willow TIDBIT: For the moment when Madmartigan calls out to Kit from beyond the seal, we recorded @valkilmer for the performance, then combined Jack Kilmer’s voice (an uncanny match for his dad) with the AI technology Sonantic developed for Val, woven together by @DavidWCollins— Jon Kasdan (@JonKasdan) December 29, 2022
Cameo In Episode 6 Of Madmartigan Explained
According to Kasdan, the Madmartigan voice cameo in episode 6 was created by first recording Val Kilmer’s voice, then fusing it with that of his son Jack Kilmer using AI technology Sonatic, and finally weaving it all together with the help of Lucasfilm Supervising Sound Editor & Designer David W. Collins. Kasdan noticed how closely Jack Kilmer’s and his father’s voices matched. Being the son of both Val Kilmer and Joanne Whalley, who plays Sorsha, makes it even more appropriate for Jack Kilmer to introduce Willow’s Madmartigan into the program.
The voice cameo contributes significantly to the plot and goes beyond being merely fan service. It’s one thing to hear tales from Boorman or Allagash, but quite another to hear Madmartigan’s voice even though Kit enters the tomb while clutching the sword he left behind. Even though it is unlikely that the voice she hears is her father’s real voice and is probably a sinister temptation, it makes it much more difficult for Kit to leave the tomb than to enter the strange light from which she hears the voice. She becomes enraged in one of the episode’s later scenes, believing that Madmartigan put the safety of Elora Danan ahead of his own children despite feeling closer to her father than she has in a long time and also being denied a reunion.
Will Kilmer Comeback In Upcoming Willow Episodes As Madmartigan?
It is unknown whether Willow will receive a second season, but if it does, there is a possibility that Val Kilmer will reprise his part as the illustrious Madmartigan. It wasn’t until the Covid-19 pandemic that he decided not to participate in the show, even though he had initially planned to. Given how much has changed since the first season of Willow was filmed, Kilmer might feel more at ease traveling now. Since then, he has also received a remarkably positive response for his comeback in Top Gun: Maverick as Iceman.
It is challenging to envision a future season of the show alone without the charismatic warrior, one of the most significant and adored characters in the Willow universe. It feels like good story material to see Willow, Kit, & Elora Danan reunited, especially given how they have developed without Madmartigan. Similar to Top Gun: Maverick, Kilmer may not have a significant part, but his physical presence would undoubtedly be appreciated by both the audience and the fictional characters. Until season 2 of Willow is renewed, viewers can enjoy Madmartigan’s voice cameo in episode 6.
Source: Jon Kasdan