With Emilio Estevez returning as Gordon Bombay for Mighty Ducks: Game Changers, the door was naturally left open for the possibility that fan-favorites from the original franchise could be dropping by over the course of the 10-episode series. Asked specifically about Joshua Jackson's Charlie potentially making an appearance at some point, the producing team danced around the question.
"We've talked to Josh over the years in developing this and he's part of the family and part of the group. Him and everyone else, when and where they show is an open and exciting question," executive producer Steve Brill said, playing coy during Wednesday's virtual Television Critics Association press tour. So not a flat-out no.
"We're definitely reinventing from square one the storyline and the creating a new mythology, but we're not ignoring the past or the people in the past so we've always been trying -- through the whole series -- to bring people literally, emotionally and suggestively back into the story. So it should be fun," Brill added.
Set in present-day Minnesota, the Mighty Ducks have evolved from scrappy underdogs to an ultra-competitive, powerhouse youth hockey team. After 12-year-old Evan Morrow (Brady Noon) is unceremoniously cut from the Ducks, he and his mom, Alex Morrow (Lauren Graham), set out to build their own team of misfits to challenge the cutthroat, win-at-all-costs culture of youth sports today. With the help of Gordon (Estevez), they rediscover the joys of playing just for love of the game.
Estevez explained why he came back to reprise his beloved character for Game Changers after 25 years.
"I've spent the last 25 years pretty much behind the camera directing films and to a lot of people, it had seemed like I had dropped off the radar and I wasn't interested in acting anymore. The fact of the matter of it is, I made a left turn. I exited mainstream motion pictures with The Mighty Ducks Part 3... It's interesting to come back now using The Mighty Ducks as a re-entry vehicle," Estevez said, citing his decision to step back and focus on movies that had a social justice component to them. "Steve and I talked about this a couple of years ago and he said, 'Would you be interested in this?" And I said, 'Well, sure, if we can capture the magic of the first films, the magic of the franchise, if we can create a cinematic experience and not just try to cash in on the nostalgia aspect of it.' I think that's ultimately what we've done."
He also spoke about the major differences in Gordon at the end of 1996's D3: The Mighty Ducks and the start of this series.
"He's completely disengaged from the world, which is very unlike the Bombay that we saw the last time we saw in D3. And so for me, it was a shift because if you look at the franchise, my character was always very engaged with the kids and being the coach we all wished we had. And there I am hiding out," Estevez said. "Over the course of the show, he comes out of his shell. You see him re-engaged thanks to the kids training there but also through Lauren's character drawing him out, drawing some truth out of him, drawing him out of his shell. For me, it was an adjustment to play a guy who was hiding out and I think it works. You get a full arc over the course of the 10 episodes."