X-Men: The Animated Series’ showrunner explained the challenge of possibly adding the X-Men to the MCU. Eric Lewald helped bring the wildly popular version of the team to life on TV. He told GWW’s Change My Mind podcast about the daunting task of bringing everyone’s favorite mutants to the big screen. In broadcast terms, X-Men: TAS was relatively easy to work around because there wasn’t a ton of editorial or business oversight on their show. Lewald correctly pointed out that there are so many moving parts to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. It’s clear he doesn’t envy the job that Kevin Feige and Marvel Studios have in front of them with integrating the X-Men into their larger plans.
“It’s weird. I know that’s a challenge,” Lewald began. “They’ve set up this thing, unprecedented — all these different superheroes that all are successful, and they’ve managed to give them different tones and different focuses. I’m continually in the awe of this juggernaut that they’ve set up — I can’t use that word because it’s a character.”
“I don’t know. I don’t know how Kevin Feige sleeps at night trying to keep all these balls in the air. But for the X-Men, when people ask me about integrating them in the MCU, I always had the reverse problem,” he continued. “There were too many X-Men and too many villains already in the X-universe and too many connected characters. I found myself cutting half of them out and having stories about three of the X-Men. Just to keep sane and to not have to try to service all of them at once in a 22-minute episode.”
Lenore Zann, who played Rogue also talked up the lasting imprint the show left in the minds of fans in a roundtable hosted by Chandler Poling of the X-Reads podcast. A lot of the cast was in attendance for the Zoom panel. For her, the main takeaway from the show’s lasting popularity is how many fans still talk about their formative experiences with the cartoon.
"It took years before we found out really what a success the show was," Zann expounded. "And now, just having done a few Comic-Cons over the last year before Covid, it’s so heartwarming and emotionally overwhelming really to see the love that the fans have for our show and the characters.”
"We made them feel like they belonged and that it's okay to be different, and that we need to look out for each other. That we've got each other's backs. To me, that's worth it all," she continued. "That is the best thing to come out of this. And if we can help another generation of kids who are going through hell right now in many ways, shapes, and forms [with] racism, and [homophobia]… It really gives me hope that we can at least get to them with a good positive message, that we’re okay. That you’re okay. That we’re in this together."
How do you think Marvel will get X-Men into their larger movie universe? Let us know down in the comments!