Ducks fly together! The Mighty Ducks: Game Changers retold the heartwarming tale for a new generation — and fans can expect to see more of the same from the scrappy athletes in season 2.
The Disney+ series premiered in March 2021, with Emilio Estevez reprising his beloved role as Gordon Bombay from the original 1992 movie. The Breakfast Club star, who also served as an executive producer on the show, confirmed in November 2021 that he will not be part of the second season.
Though Deadline initially reported at the time that Estevez disagreed with the show’s COVID-19 vaccine requirement for cast and crew, the Outsiders actor denied that pandemic impacted his decision, telling the outlet that it was “nothing more than a good old fashioned contract dispute” and “a myriad of creative differences.”
Estevez noted in a statement: “I am not anti-vaxx. Full stop. I take this pandemic very seriously, and I am often teased about my continued following of the safety protocols and my abundance of caution. … To the fans of the franchise – I am as disappointed as you are. To my Ducks cast and crew – have a wonderful season 2 on the show and please know that I will miss you all.”
The New York native concluded by calling the opportunity to bring back his character “an honor and a thrill.”
Before Estevez announced his exit, costar Lauren Graham raved over his vision for the series inspired by the ’90s sports film.
“He likes what this iteration of the franchise is and believes that some stories you can continue without diluting what was great about them from the beginning,” the Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist alum, who plays Alex Morrow in the series, told E! News in March 2021. “He just has a really clear view of what his character would or wouldn’t do — of how to respect the original.”
The Talking as Fast as I Can author also assured viewers that her character in the sports series wasn’t just another version of Gilmore Girls‘ incomparable Lorelai Gilmore or Parenthood‘s strong-willed Sarah Braverman.
“I think they’re all connected in that their priority is the relationship with their kid, and in Parenthood‘s case, kids. Just the love of being a mom, and being a mom to this particular child and wanting to, in this case, [do] the best for him,” Graham told TV Insider in March 2021. “[Alex] is less sassy, probably less confident, but she’s going to find that ultimately. That was a little bit of a different trajectory [for me].”
Mighty Ducks: Game Changers was officially renewed in August 2021 following a successful debut season, during which Alex (Graham) coached her son Evan (Brady Noon) and his underdog hockey team with the help of Gordon. Maxwell Simkins, Swayam Bhatia, Bella Higginbotham, Julee Cerda, Luke Islam, Taegen Burns and more rounded out the Don’t Bothers bench.
With Estevez hanging up his jersey, how will things change for the series in season 2? Scroll down for everything we know so far: