Mighty Ducks could have turned out like Air Bud, with Disney milking the franchise for every penny it’s worth in the 90s. Fortunately Michael Eisner was savvy enough to realize that Mighty Ducks was dead-in-the-water without it’s star, Emilio Estevez as Bro king hero of the universe, Gordon Bombay. As beloved as it was, the saga bowed out in 1996 with D3: The Mighty Ducks. When you’ve earned glory for the United States and moved on to the world of elite prep school hockey, there’s just not that much more to accomplish, I suppose. Also returns were slimming: D3 only brought in $22 million at the box office, compared with D2‘s $47 million.
Earlier today Time Magazine published a wonderful oral history about The Mighty Ducks in honor of D2’s 20th anniversary. Franchise star Joshua Jackson a.k.a. Charlie Conway discussed the distinct possibility of a new generation of Might Ducks movies.
“I feel like a fourth film should happen, and if there was space for any of the original kids that come back and have a role, I would be surprised that anybody didn’t want to do it, The next generation should have its own version. Not that we need to come back as adults, but I hope my kids grow up and play pickup hockey and I hope that they have their own movies like my generation had those movies. In that way, yeah, of course, I’d be a part of something like that.”
Previously, producer Jordan Kerner offered more details about what D4 might look like. Clearly he’s given it some thought. Via Vulture:
I wanted to license this dark adult play, That Championship Season. It was going to be the death of Gordon Bombay as an older man, and Marty [Sheen] was going to play him. And Goldberg would be played by like Jim Belushi. You know, we were literally going to pair up everybody with a present-day actor, but it was going to be not unlike Chariots of Fire, the sort of look back at a moment in time when their coach came back to them and did something that changed their lives forever. So you cut from the present of the kids and they would have been all of 18 or 19, so they would have become the high school seniors… But it would be set against this thing going on in a bar or restaurant where all the present-day guys grown up talking about what this coach meant to them. And we’d see that played out against them as 18-year-olds on the ice and Emilio playing in that and his father playing in a series of scenes where he was dying and they had to say their goodbyes. So I was looking for a really literate and emotional way for all of them to come back together again as men and to say goodbye to the man who meant so much to them. But it wasn’t meant to be.
It sounds like a Gordon Bombay eats-acid-and-has-a-Don-Draper-esque-existential-crises… But hey, Ducks fly together, so who knows?
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