Marvel's X-Men '97 Directors Would Make an Animated Movie "If the Demand Is There" From Fans

An animated X-Men movie "would absolutely be something the audience would want to see, and we would want to be a part of," says the directors behind X-Men '97.

The 1990s weren't just a golden age for era-defining animated shows like X-Men: The Animated Series, Spider-Man: The Animated Series, and Batman: The Animated Series. It was a decade where it seemed as if every cartoon — from The Jetsons and Tom and Jerry to Rugrats, Pokémon and beyond — eventually graduated from the small screen to the big screen. Some went straight-to-video tape while others made their way into theaters with feature-length animated movies, like 1992's Batman: Mask of the Phantasm and 1998's Pokémon: The First Movie.

Now that X-Men '97 — Marvel Studios Animation's decades-later revival of X-Men: The Animated Series — has hit living rooms on Disney+, series directors Chase Conley, Emi Yonemura, and Jake Castorena are expressing their interest in making the first X-Men animated movie for theaters.

"First off, it would be a slam dunk," Conley told Inverse. "I think that would absolutely be something the audience would want to see, and we would want to be a part of." While the episodic format has allowed the creators to bring to screen "a lot of adapted comic runs" in 30-minute episodes, a movie budget and length to match would give the animators an opportunity to "do as much as we can and spend a lot of time massaging each shot."

"With animation, the more time and money we get, the better it will be," Conley added. "That's just a fact."

Yonemura added that an animated X-Men movie could even rival Sony Animation's eye-popping Spider-Verse movies or Nickelodeon Movies' radically stylistic Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem.

"It feels like we're already making movie-level animation and events," Yonemura said. "But just to have that budget and time then to make it a full feature, and to kind of do what Spider-Verse and the recent animated Turtles movie did... One of our influences [on X-Men '97] was '80s and '90s Japanese animation. Akira. Ghost in the Shell. Those levels. It's like: 'Hey, you want to give us the money and budget to do that for you? But for X-Men '97?' Gladly."

"I think myself and the entire team would love to keep doing this. Seven seasons and a movie. Let's go," added Castorena. "If the love and the demand is there from the fandom, and Marvel wants to let us do it, it'd be great to bring these X-Men, these characters, this style, and this work to the silver screen."

Marvel Animation has already started production on X-Men '97 season 2. New episodes of the 10-episode first season are currently rolling out Wednesdays on Disney+.