Jon M. Chu revealed he and wife Kristin Hodge are expecting their third child, forcing him to step away from the dream project

By Ale Russian
January 11, 2021 05:23 PM
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Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images

Director Jon M. Chu is no longer involved with one of his passion projects.

The Crazy Rich Asians director shared on Twitter that he is stepping down from directing the upcoming Disney+ Willow series due to the production schedule moving amid the COVID-19 health crisis. This affects Chu, 41, who revealed his wife Kristin Hodge is expecting their third child this summer.

"I'm heartbroken to let you all know that I unfortunately have to step away from directing Willow," he wrote in a statement on Twitter. "With the production schedule moving due to continued lockdowns in the UK, and with a new baby coming this summer (surprise!), the timing is just not going to work for me and my family."

"As you may know, Willow has been one of my favorite movies since I was a child, so I'm devastated that I won't be able to work with some of my heroes old and new," he added, naming producers and writers involved with the series. "Like a kid seeing Willow for the first time in the '80s, I will look forward to watching this magical new world unfold as a very enthusiastic fan. And boy do they have an adventure in store for you! I can't wait for you all to experience it soon."

The Willow series is set to follow the events of Ron Howard's 1988 hit film, with Howard returning as executive producer.

Chu's first child is 3-year-old daughter Willow, possibly named after the film. His second child, 1-year-old son Jonathan Heights, is named after his upcoming movie In The Heights as he was born while Chu was filming the musical. Chu and his wife call the baby Heights after the movie.

In The Heights, the highly-anticipated movie adaptation of Lin-Manuel Miranda's Tony-winning musical, was originally set to debut in June 2020. The movie has now been moved to June 2021 and will be available in theaters and HBO Max the same day.