The Ducks may once again fly together. Disney’s 1992 movie The Mighty Ducks spawned two sequels, a (very, very different) animated TV series, and even the name of a NHL franchise, but it’s been out of the limelight for a while. However, Lesley Goldberg of The Hollywood Reporter writes that ABC Signature Studios has a TV series based on the movies in initial development, and with the films’ original screenwriter and an original producer attached:
The Mighty Ducks franchise may be coming to the small screen. Sources tell The Hollywood Reporter that ABC Signature Studios is in early development for a series based on the 1990s dramedy about a youth hockey team. A network is not yet attached.
ABC Signature Studios, the cable- and streaming-focused arm of ABC Studios, declined comment.
Sources tell THR that ABC Signature head Tracy Underwood, always looking to identify Disney titles and intellectual property that can appeal to a global audience, put Mighty Ducks in development after being approached by original trilogy screenwriter Steven Brill and original producer Jordan Kerner. Brill will pen the script in-house for ABC Signature. If that comes in well, ABC Signature would package the project with talent and shop it to streamers this year. Brillstein Entertainment’s George Heller and Brad Petrigala will, like Brill, be credited as executive producers.
Feature film star Emilio Estevez is not currently attached as a script has not yet been written. What remains unclear is if the potential Mighty Ducks TV series is a sequel or reboot as the logline for the half-hour or hour project is being kept under wraps.
So there’s very little actually known about this project so far, including if there’s a role in it for Estevez (who played Coach Gordon Bombay in the films). If there is, this would likely have to take place much later than the initial film series, and there’s some skepticism about if it would be interesting to see Bombay yet again working with a group of kids. Maybe that could pay off, but maybe it wouldn’t. It could be interesting to see an older Bombay meet up with some of the kids he previously coached, but maybe a more interesting and realistic alternative could be just a reimagining with a new Coach Bombay, one that also goes more into the lives and personalities of the kids depicted in The Mighty Ducks and D2. (From this corner, we like to pretend that D3 doesn’t exist.) It could be Friday Night Lights on ice, focused on the likes of Fulton Reed, Greg Goldberg, Dwayne Robertson, Julie Gaffney and Luis Mendoza.
Or, it could be the very different version imagined by TSN’s Jay Onrait and Dan O’Toole:
There's a new TV series being produced based on the #MightyDucks movies, & #JayAndDan have an exclusive trailer… ‘DuckDale.’ pic.twitter.com/GNJtSvhyTY
— #JayAndDan (@JayAndDan) January 23, 2018
In any case, there isn’t even a network attached to this at this point. ABC Signature often creates projects for the streaming landscape, so that could be Netflix, Amazon or Hulu. However, it also could be Disney’s own forthcoming streaming service; this might be a natural fit there as a way to make some more money off their own back catalog. In any case, there are plenty of obstacles ahead, but we all know that the Ducks are capable of handing obstacles.