UPDATE (NOVEMBER 25, 2021):
In a new interview with the Play Comics podcast, X-Men ’97 consultant Eric Lewald has clarified that “the show’s not going to come out for another 18-20 months, you know, mid-to-late 2023.”
This gives us a sharper timeframe of when ’97 is being projected to release, which also matches a past Marvel pattern. 18 to 20 months from now is around July/August 2023, which is almost the same time of year the animated What If…? series was released this year. If X-Men ’97 is aiming for August 2023, that would not only line up with Lewald’s new comments, but it would also allow Marvel to maintain a possible release pattern of animated shows every August.
Source: Play Comics Podcast (at 40:40)
ORIGINAL ARTICLE (NOVEMBER 17, 2021):
Just yesterday, The Power of X-Men podcast published a new X-Men ’97 interview with Eric and Julia Lewald, who were showrunner and writer of 1992’s X-Men animated series and are currently consultants on X-Men ’97. Despite the short notice after Friday’s surprise announcement, the podcast hosts did a fantastic job of the interview and really hit a goldmine of new information on the mysterious upcoming series.
The biggest news item from the interview is Eric Lewald saying it “sounds like they’re talking about a premiere of maybe late summer of 2023, so that’s a year and a half from now” (timestamp at 10:20). Marvel Studios has been frustratingly cagey about the release dates for their upcoming shows, so it’s a huge relief to have an actual window of when X-Men ’97 is aiming to be released (even if tentative).
Some other cool news from the interview:
- ’97 is “a continuation” of the original show, that starts “a few months later” with “the same characters and the same setup” as the original series finale. As a reminder, the show ended with a major character leaving the X-Men, seemingly forever.
- Early animatics and voice recordings have already started, with nine returning cast members “locked in for this first season.” In Friday’s announcement, actually, only eight original actors were announced for the series, and it wasn’t clarified in what capacity they would be returning. Those voices were Cal Dodd (Wolverine), Lenore Zann (Rogue), George Buza (Beast), Alison Sealy-Smith (Storm), Chris Potter (Gambit), Catherine Disher (Jean Grey), Adrian Hough (Nightcrawler), and Chris Britton (Mister Sinister). The ninth actor is Alyson Court (Jubilee), who announced on Twitter that she would be returning in a new role after offering the part of Jubilee to a new actress of Asian descent.
- Because the Lewalds called this the “first season,” this is further support that Marvel is already envisioning X-Men ’97 as a multi-season revival, in case there was any doubt.
- George Buza (Beast) has already done voice work for three episodes, in the same studio where he recorded in 1992.
- Compared to the challenges of selling X-Men as a kids’ show in 1992, the new show is an “adult” show that immediately starts with “adult themes.” Additionally, the new writers won’t be afraid to kill off characters if the story needs it.
They’re thinking of this as a bunch of adults thrown together, struggling with something. We’re going to show the melodrama and we’re going to show you some of the personal things that adults go through. They’re going to be able to tell adult stories without…wondering if this is going to be kid-friendly.
“[At the end of Jean’s “Dark Phoenix” arc], we couldn’t kill off that character. There’s certain things that can be a bit much for a kids’ show. Since [X-Men ’97] is more of an adult show, they could lose a cast member 3/4ths of the way through… that’s the kind of thing [the original show] just couldn’t contemplate even if we thought it was good for the story.
Eric Lewald from Power of X-Men Podcast.
Super exciting updates! I can’t wait for summer 2023. Stay tuned to the Cosmic Circus for more X-Men ’97 news and theories coming soon!
Source: Power of X-Men Podcast