Could we ever see another season of X-Men: The Animated Series??
On the latest episode of AfterBuzz TV’s Marvel TV Weekly, hosts Christian Bladt and Xia Anderson were joined in studio by Eric Lewald, the showrunner of the 90’s X-Men : The Animated Series and author of the book about the show Previously On X-Men, and his wife Julia Lewald who also was a writer on the show. They spent more than an hour talking about the process of putting the show together, including some of the biggest obstacles they faced. They also looked to the future to see if we might one day get another season of the show.
“We know for a fact that they’re frantically thinking of the next iteration of X-Men for movies, and for TV,” said Eric. “There’ve been a number of producers that have called us and said uh, ‘ well we’ve heard you have an idea for a sixth season. Uh, can, can I invest in this, can we, uh, you know get Marvel to do this?’ And it’s kind of like, that’s kind of not the way it works. I mean the current people at Marvel are going to be the ones that decide what the next iteration is.”
Eric took time to explain that there has been plenty of discussion about reviving the show.
“We’ve asked, cause we’ve interviewed all the cast and, and the crew for the book. So we know, there’s maybe two or three people missing from the core writers and, and cast, and artists. Everybody loved working on the show. Everybody would do it again in a heartbeat,” said Eric. “These people like work, but, on, on top of that they love doing the show. So you could assemble the same team that we had before basically.”
Eric said Stan Lee played a huge role in the creation of the series, but they had some creative differences.
“[Stan] will forever be the biggest name in the history of comics. There’s no way anybody’s gonna get close,” Eric said, however “when in 1992, 29 years after he and Jack Kirby came up with the idea of X-Men, the brilliant idea of X-Men. He really didn’t know the tone, the focus, he didn’t like, he, you would show him current books, he didn’t care for them, didn’t care for the ferocity, he wanted to write them younger, he wanted them to be simpler, lighter, and jokier, and, and wanted it to be what he had created.”
Eric explained that his input became so distracting that he “just had to shrug and say, ‘look, you hired me to, to run the show, if you want, I can’t write it the way Stan’s asking me to and we can’t, we don’t have an extra three months to redo everything we’ve already done. If you want his show, I’ll step aside.’”
Fortunately, producer Will Meugniot, brokered a compromise where Meugniot would get the notes from Stan, then sit down with Eric, and figure out which are possible.
Eric explained the process of getting the show it’s iconic opening title sequence and the unforgettable theme song that accompanied it:
Larry Houston “turned something in and Will Meugniot and Sidney Iwanter who were kind of overseeing it sat down and said make it more intense and they sent it back and sent it back and sent it back and Ron complained,” shared Lewald. “he said ‘I wanted to kill him.’ They sent it back to him over 20 times and said layer it layer it layer it — make it more intense, drive it harder, more layers — until we know it’s the X-Men theme. And when they finally got the final version they all said ‘ah, this is it.’”
Eric also explained how the original casting of the voice talent would have destroyed the show if they had used what they were originally sent:
“They didn’t quite get on the first pass that we wanted this to be a serious drama. And so we got a very cartoony over the top just absolutely completely wrong set of tapes for the first two episodes sent down us,” said Eric.
They all thought the show was over.
“A couple people from Marvel…spent a couple weeks in Canada, which maybe they should have done to start with, but we didn’t know that they were going to not get what we wanted — and they recast and they re-recorded,” revealed Eric. “They recorded the first episode four or five times.”
So will there be a future show? Eric said Disney should give them a call!
But, in case there was any doubt, Julia asked “But is this the point where we go, Disney/Marvel call us!?” with Eric adding: “Yeah, yeah if anybody’s listening, yeah we’re ready…we’re ready.”
Crossing our fingers something happens soon!