Today sees a special reunion of some of the original hockey playing brats from The Mighty Ducks in an episode of the Disney+ original series The Mighty Ducks: Game Changers. And if all goes well, this won’t be the last reunion we’ll see on the show.
Even though six of the original members of the Mighty Ducks franchise were able to reunite for the episode, titled “Spirit of the Ducks,” the coronavirus pandemic made it more difficult to get other teammates back. Thankfully, franchise writer and series executive producer Steven Brill has plans to bring some of the other teammates back for the show’s presumed second season, and he has plans for the series beyond that, too.
In The Mighty Ducks: Game Changers episode “Spirit of the Ducks,” Fulton Reed (Eldon Henson), Lester Averman (Matt Doherty), Adam Banks (Vincent La Russo), Connie Moreau (Marguerite Moreau), Guy Germaine (Garette Henson), and Kenny Wu (Justin Wong) all get back together with Coach Gordon Bombay (Emilio Estevez). It’s a bit of a bumpy reunion in terms of the tension that arises between the characters, and making the reunion happen wasn’t a walk in the park either.
We got a chance to speak with Steven Brill leading up to the release of “Spirit of the Ducks” today, and he talked about how the coronavirus pandemic ruined some of his hopes for the scope of the reunion. Brill said:
“It was not great to not be able to get everybody that we wanted. Sometimes it was because, like Aaron Lohr [who played Dean Portman, one of the Bash Brothers], was a counselor at a facility, and he couldn’t leave for a month to do this quarantine in order to shoot for two weeks. A lot of these people have other lives. Mike Vitar [who played Luis Mendoza] is a firefighter, and even during COVID, it wasn’t possible. A lot of those people we couldn’t get. “
Thankfully, since Game Changers is a TV series, there’s hope for more Ducks to reunite, and the coronavirus pandemic limiting who could return may have actually ended up being a blessing in disguise. Brill added:
“I would have made it a 40-person reunion. I would have gotten every single person from The Mighty Ducks, and we even set up the format so that anyone who was ever a Duck could be in the episode. But that’s what season two is for, to touch base with everybody else. It probably would have gotten too unwieldy and we wouldn’t have gotten to spend as much time as we did with each character. So I think we got the right balance, but there’s definitely a lot more storylines and people I want to bring back.”
As for who else might be in the cards for a return, “Spirit of the Ducks” indicates that there’s some tension that exists between Charlie Conway (Joshua Jackson) and Gordon Bombay. Brill fully intends on exploring what happened with those characters, but that’s something we won’t see until after the first season is over:
“I’m saving it, because if we’re able to do it, I always thought that Charlie/Josh should come back in a real way, where we get to spend time with him. Not just a cameo or an episode, which would be fun.”
Joshua Jackson isn’t the only Mighty Ducks franchise star with a hopeful return intended for the future. Brill hopes that Kenan Thompson, who played the Los Angeles native Russ Tyler with the tricky knucklepuck, will be able to have a substantial role in future seasons. The writer added:
“When we talked to [Kenan], we said, “We’d love to be able to use you in a real way and have you come in and not just be a cameo but come in and actually do some storylines.” So that’s the hope for the future, for sure. I think Kenan’s Russ Tyler character went off to be on Saturday Night Live, strangely enough, and that’s what Kenan did, so when Russ comes back, he could be a guy who was on Saturday Night Live. That makes perfect sense.”
Of course, it wouldn’t be a Mighty Ducks reunion without a goalie. Even though Shaun Weiss, the actor who played Greg Goldberg in the original movies, previously fell on some very rough times, Brill is 100% ready to bring him back to the ice. He said:
“I’m so happy that he’s in recovery and seems to be doing well, and it’s important to reintroduce him and get him back when he is physically and technically ready to come. I can’t wait. It would be great. He’s Goldberg. No matter what, he’s Goldberg.”
Outside of anymore original Mighty Ducks coming back for Game Changers, there is one big idea that Brill hopes to follow through on, but we’ll probably have to wait a few seasons to see it come to fruition. Brill said that he and executive producers/showrunners Josh Goldsmith and Cathy Yuspa have some cards up their sleeve for a second season, but one of their hopes is to take the Ducks outside America. Brill said:
“I sort of think of it like the movies. The whole team sort of moves into another adventure together. They could stay in Minneapolis and just be more rooted in the stories there. We gotta figure that out, but eventually, they should go to Europe and play. In like season four, they should go to Europe. When it opens up, we should definitely go to Europe and play in an international tournament.”
The Mighty Ducks going to Europe? Well, I guess it would be the show’s new team, known as the Don’t Bothers, going to Europe. But either way, taking the team around the world has a lot of potential. So let’s hope audiences stick with this show and Disney+ gives them enough time to get there.
You can read more of our interview with Steven Brill later today, and be sure to check out our interview with all the returning members of The Mighty Ducks right here.
The Mighty Ducks: Game Changers is available to stream on Disney+, and “Spirit of the Ducks” is out today.