Disney+ has wasted no time hitting the ground running with adaptations and new shows, and it was only a matter of time before one of the most beloved ’90s film trilogies got its due. But if you’re looking for a grown-up version of The Mighty Ducks you know and love, you’ll have to keep daydreaming of seeing Joshua Jackson on the ice again. The Disney+ series, while acting as a continuation of the franchise, is a reboot that sees the once struggling hockey team as powerful champions—and it’s finally found its leads.
UPDATE, 2/13 – Just one day after the news that Disney would be reviving the Mighty Ducks franchise in the form of a series on its new streaming platform, we have word that the original film’s star, Emilio Estevez, is joining production. Variety reports that Estevez will be reprising the Coach Gordon Bombay character: a man once haunted by his past but now probably significantly less haunted by his past, considering his past has come to involve a trilogy of ’90s hits in which things seemed to go pretty well for him and his young squires.
2/12 – Deadline confirms that Lauren Graham, who currently stars in the new NBC drama Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist, will play the lead in the new series alongside Good Boys and Boardwalk Empire star Brady Noon. According to a press release, “in present day Minnesota, the Mighty Ducks have evolved from scrappy underdogs to an ultra-competitive, powerhouse youth hockey team. After 12-year-old Evan (Noon) is unceremoniously cut from the Ducks, he and his mom Alex (Graham) set out to build their own ragtag team of misfits to challenge the cutthroat, win-at-all-costs culture of competitive youth sports.” Original Mighty Ducks writer Steve Brill and Till Death creators Josh Goldsmith and Cathy Yuspa will executive produce the series, with Graham in a co-executive producer title.
Back in 2018, Nerdist reported that there was early talk of bringing the film to streaming services in the form of a television show, though nothing ever officially materialized. The original 1992 film starred Emilio Estevez as cocky Minnesota lawyer Gordon Bombay, who becomes a coach for a rag-tag youth hockey team as part of his community service sentence.
A second and third film followed where the team competes at the Goodwill Games and then at boarding school, and while there’s currently no confirmation whether any of the original Mighty Ducks cast members like Jackson or Kenan Thompson will appear in the new series, talks with Estevez are ongoing. We’re crossing our fingers that Disney makes some nostalgia magic happen, because after all—if you’re looking for inspiration, who better to offer some wise words of encouragement than the man who once brought the original underdogs to victory?
This isn’t the first time The Mighty Ducks has been adapted for television—an animated series aired in 1996 as part of Disney Afternoon and ran for 26 episodes. In addition to television and film, the franchise has also been the inspiration for a real life Anaheim hockey team. And now, in 2020, we have a new entry into the franchise. I guess what we’re saying is, these underdogs really are powerful.
The Mighty Ducks is slated to hit Disney+ in 2020.
Featured Image: NBC
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