X-Men '97 Producers Reveal Intel on X-Men: The Animated Series Revival
The X-Men aren't the only team returning in Marvel Studios' X-Men '97. Husband and wife team Eric and Julia Lewald, two of the creators behind the beloved X-Men: The Animated Series, join original series director Larry Houston as consulting producers on the animated revival ordered at Disney+. Picking up where The Animated Series left off in 1997 after 76 episodes across five seasons, X-Men '97 revisits the iconic '90s timeline with new and returning cast members voicing the Marvel mutants. In an interview with Justin Underwood (Spideyjeu09 on YouTube), the consulting producers shared new intel on X-Men '97 and revealed a 10-episode first season expected to premiere mid-2023 on Disney+.
"They want it to be an extension [of X-Men: The Animated Series]," original showrunner Eric Lewald said. "Whoever it is doing this new show is going to make it their own, no matter who is involved in it. There is great love and affection and respect from an entire group of people that are doing this show, starting at the top with Beau DeMayo, who's the showrunner."
Lewald added, "I believe they're looking at 10 episodes for the first season that's going to come out mid-next year. They're starting it soon after ours ended... 'Where is [Professor X?]'"
Previously on X-Men, the mutants watched as Empress Lilandra (voice of Camilla Scott) took a gravely wounded Professor Xavier (Cedric Smith) into space to be cured by the Shi'Ar Empire. X-Men '97 begins with Xavier's disappearance and will "build off of that," Lewald said.
The continuation faithfully recreates the style of X-Men: The Animated Series and brings back many of the original cast members, including Cal Dodd (Wolverine), Lenore Zann (Rogue), George Buza (Beast), Alison Sealy-Smith (Storm), Chris Potter (Gambit), Catherine Disher (Jean Grey), Adrian Hough (Nightcrawler), and Christopher Britton (Minister Sinister).
"They could have just said, 'We're just going to do a new show.' We have friends that were part of other very successful shows, and when they get rebooted, not a phone call, not a card, not a bit of recognition, just, 'We're going to do a new show,'" Lewald said. "In this case, they were all nice and respectful enough. We said, 'It's your show. We're here if there's a red flag,' but we're on for that, or maybe some ideas of things we'd like to see. But really, it's their show. You can tell by the design. It's the same but slightly modernized, slightly a bit more beautiful, five times the money spent on it. Not that we're bitter (laughs)."
For the first X-Men title produced by Kevin Feige's Marvel Studios, Disney+ has allotted "this wonderful huge budget, and with a lot of thought going into it," Lewald said. "These are real superfans, really respectful superfans of the show, extending the show into new places. We couldn't have asked for a better setup than that."
X-Men '97 is streaming on Disney+ in 2023.
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