The original X-Men animated series from the ’90s is so huge that it even beat out the likes of Star Wars, other Marvel projects, and Pixar on the Disney Plus streaming service.
We get some insights into the original X-Men animated series, and the new X-Men ’97 animated series, which is currently in development at Disney Plus, from the original show’s producers and showrunners, Eric and Julia Lewald, who spoke with the Spideyjeu09 Justin Underwood Youtube channel.
While recalling how the Marvel trading cards were a big help while making the original series, the conversation turned to the original X-Men airing on Disney Plus where Julia Lewald revealed X-Men outperformed The Mandalorian.
“So when X-Men the animated series started airing on Disney Plus, that was a lot of fun for us just finding out so many folks were excited about that and somewhere I got a screensaver, a screengrab, from Disney Plus listing its own shows from that time period, and the #1 show at that time period, on Disney Plus for that window of time by a lot, was X-Men the animated series. We beat The Mandalorian! haha!” said Julia Lewald.
Eric Lewald also added that Disney had a long list of things that fans were most excited about that they wanted to see coming to Disney Plus, which included Marvel, Pixar, and Star Wars, and at the top of the list happened to be the X-Men animated series.
“They are this huge corporation and just getting their streaming service together, and they ask all the fans that they can get in touch with on the web, ‘Okay, with the two hundred things we have, of all the Star War stuff, of all the Pixar stuff, all the Disney movies, all the Disney TV shows, of all the Marvel things, of all these huge properties, what is it that you are most anticipating and excited about seeing when Disney Plus actually comes on the air?’ That’s the list she was talking about, I saw the list, it was like 150 things, and X-Men the animated series was at the very top. People understand… ‘Okay, Star Wars. Okay, Pixar, Okay, Disney, and yet, they’re more excited about your little cartoon than they are about…'”
X-Men ’97 animated series in good hands on Disney Plus
Regarding the new X-Men ’97 animated series, it has been announced Eric and Julia Lewald are consulting on the new series along with original series director Larry Houston, and they confirm X-Men ’97 is an extension of the original show.
“They have been gracious and reached out to you and to me and to Larry Houston to come on as consulting producers because they want this show to pick up where the original X-Men series wrapped,” explained Julia Lewald.
Eric Lewald also revealed X-Men ’97 should be released next year with ten episodes.
“They want it to be an extension… There is great love and affection and respect from an entire group of people that are doing this show, starting at the top with Beau DeMayo, who’s the showrunner. I believe they’re looking at ten episodes for the first season that’s going to come out mid-next year,” he said.
Eric Lewald also confirmed X-Men ’97 will continue somewhere where the original series left off and will reference the original show.
“They’re starting it soon after ours ended. There will be references,” Eric Lewald explained. “Fans will be able to sit down and say, ‘Oh, I am thinking about stuff that “previously on X-Men” and it’s going to lead into’… So they are staring at that starting point and then building the stories they like and off of that.”
The pair continued where it sounds as if the show is in good hands.
“They could have just said ‘Nah, now we do a new show,’ which is what they do here in Hollywood nine out of ten times. We have friends that were a part of other very successful shows and when they get rebooted, not a phone call, not a card, not a bit of recognition. ‘Oh, we are going do the new whatever.’ In this case, they were all nice and respectful enough,” Eric and Juila Lewald explained. “It’s your show. We’re here if there’s a red flag, but we’re on for that, or maybe some ideas of things we’d like to see. But really, it’s their show. You can tell by the design. It’s the same design but slightly modernized, slightly a bit more beautiful, five times the money spent on it. Not that we’re bitter [laughs]. Wonderful huge budgets with a lot of thought going into it. These are real super fans, really respectful super fans of the show, extending the show into new places. We couldn’t have asked for a better set up than that.”
X-Men ’97 promo images: