Now that Disney owns the right to fan-beloved franchise X-Men after purchasing Fox, the entire world of mutants might come very soon in the MCU. Luckily, fans wouldn't have to wait for a very long time as the reboot of the classic 90's animated series is the first official X-Men project coming to Disney+ in 2023.
The upcoming show is the revival of the 1992 X-Men show, which concluded in 1997. The reboot is now titled X-Men '97 and is pushing a Mid-2023 release date. The show reportedly consists of ten episodes in its first season.
Now, doing a reboot of a classic animated show certainly comes with a lot of pressure. Plus, it has been almost three decades since the show concluded. Fans now wonder, will it be similar to the original one? and what are the changes the creators have to make to the upcoming X-Men '97?
Thankfully, creator Russ Milheim and head writer Beau DeMayo sat down with The Direct to discuss the upcoming X-Men '97, the revival of the 90's show.
Before discussing what makes the animated series different from the original show, DeMayo first addressed what he hopes to keep. “For me, it made sense once I met [Julia and Eric] Lewald and Larry Houston, who were the creators and directors of the original series, who are literally the best people you could possibly imagine, is they are so earnest and sincere as people. When you watch the series, I think what we remember about, is that there is such an earnestness to all of the characters. Everyone’s emotions are on full display. Everyone is sincere, and it is just—when you meet the Lewalds, and Larry, it’s just like, ‘oh, I totally get it.’ DeMayo said.
DeMayo went on to discuss the challenges that come along with making the X-Men animated series reboot. DeMayo explained, "The challenge to me was honoring that earnestness... [and] emotional sincerity" that the original series successfully pulled off. DeMayo calls the original show's storytelling a 'secret sauce' which he wants to replicate in X-Men '97.
DeMayo explained, "And so I think the challenge to me was honoring that earnestness, that emotional sincerity in the show where it wasn’t just about the big bad of the day. That was almost, in some cases, an afterthought. It was really about the relationship of this found family, and how they cared about each other and had disagreements. And I always just come back whenever we’re talking in the writer’s room, or we’re talking to the directors, it’s just like, we have to have earnest emotion in every scene. Cause I really do think that was the secret sauce to the original series.”
Now, when asked particularly about how X-Men '97 would differ from the original series, DeMayo noted that the world faces different issues back when the original show was made in the 90s, dealing with relevant themes like race and diversity. According to the head writer, X-Men '97 will instead focus on modern society in the 2000s.
“I don’t know if improve would be a word I would use. I think that show is amazing in so many different ways. I think what I would say is that the generation who grew up watching that show, we have grown up, and the world is a very different place than when that show was first made. And so, it is more a question of, what does that show look like knowing what we know now? And how it looks like, in today's world, with everything that has changed, and everything that hasn’t changed, sadly—in our world. That is where I believe my focus has been as a storyteller, has really been that.”
Impressively, it appears that DeMayo is very committed to the reboot. And the head writer's comments about the upcoming series must have exhilarated the fans even more.
While waiting for X-Men '97, fans can catch up with the first appearance of an X-Men character in the upcoming highly-anticipated Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, as Patrick Stewart's Professor X is already confirmed to return.
X-Men '97 is expected to premiere in 2023.