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The Ducks are back on ice. “The Mighty Ducks: Game Changers,” the 10-episode series centering around a new crop of youth hockey players, premiered on Disney+ on Friday, March 26. The latest installment of the franchise is set in present day Minnesota, where the Mighty Ducks have evolved from the scrappy underdogs of yesteryear to a powerhouse youth hockey team.
Emilio Estevez returns as Gordon Bombay in the new series, which focuses on 12-year-old Evan Marrow (Brandy Noon), a young hockey player who fails to make the Ducks team but turns his loss into a new opportunity. After a little encouragement from his mom Alex (Lauren Graham), along with Bombay’s help, they shun the cutthroat, win-at-all-costs culture of youth sports and rediscover the joys of playing simply for love of the game.
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Directed by Michael Spiller, “The Mighty Ducks: Game Changers” features a talented team of up-and-coming young actors including Noon, Maxwell Simkins, Swayam Bhatia, Luke Islam, Kiefer O’Reilly, Taegen Burns, Bella Higginbotham, and DJ Watts.
Steve Brill, the original creator, writer and executive producer of all three original “Ducks” films, which spawned a real-life NHL franchise (known simply today as the Anaheim Ducks after Disney sold the team in 2005), returns as co-creator and executive producer of the new series. Josh Goldsmith and Cathy Yuspa (“The King of Queens,” “13 Going on 30”) are co-creators, as well as executive producers and showrunners. Estevez is also an executive producer and Graham is co-executive producer. Estevez, who initially rejected the idea of appearing in a revival of one of his most memorable roles, recently discussed how his character has evolved for the new series.
“They’ve set him up as being a truth teller in terms of how he relates to not only the parents but also the kids,” he said during the Disney+ TCA panel last month. “It is unlikely that they’ll be professional hockey players…he’s tasked with giving that harsh reality. He helps them understand the reality of that.”
Besides directing, Spiller also serves as executive producer on the series, with James Griffiths (“A Million Little Things”) serving as director/executive producer on the pilot. George Heller and Brad Petrigala of Brillstein Entertainment Partners and Jon Avnet and Jordan Kerner also serve as non-writing executive producers. The “Mighty Ducks: Game Changers” is produced by ABC Signature, a part of Disney Television studios.