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"X-Men: The Animated Series" Revival a Possibility, Says Producer


It's somewhat funny that despite Bryan Singer's original X-Men films receiving praise for reigniting the superhero film craze (And paving the way for the Marvel Cinematic Universe), that often purists of the X-Men comics have found his films to be, and I'm quoting this from people I've talked to, "X-Men in name only". Admittedly, that didn't stop the movies from growing into a 20 year dynasty, seeing countless actors of various degrees playing characters that were often nothing like their comic book counterparts.

Stewart: "We're doing 'Days of Future Past'...why is Bishop not the lead?" | Singer: "Cause Wolverine's in the movie."

To this day, the movies are constantly compared to the 1990's X-Men: The Animated Series which adapted comic book arcs faithfully, including "The Phoenix Saga" AND "The Dark Phoenix Saga" (The movies would make you think they were one in the same). It's for this reason the show has become so endearing to fans of Marvel and the X-Men characters. The series, which ran from 1992 to 1997 on Fox Kids, was pure comic book delight with all the fantastical elements that made the characters so beloved. The bright color-tinted costumes, the eccentric characters, the wild allegories, the more crazy mutant characters such as the Morlocks, and the list goes on.

Thanks to Disney+ putting up the original show, the series has seen a resurgence in popularity. And with Disney not afraid to use this to generate interest in old properties, revivals of classic shows have been happening on the streaming service a lot lately. Star Wars: The Clone Wars came back to finish it's story with a 12-episode seventh season that finally bridged Episode II and Episode III of the movie saga. The Muppets has been revived as well. And now, according to Larry Houston, who was a producer and animation director on X-Men: The Animated Series (Along with a number of other classic series in the 1990's), it's possible that a revival may indeed happen for the classic superhero show as well.

Rumors of this have been going on pretty much since Fox (Who owned the rights to all things X-Men) merged with Disney. However, speaking on the X-Men: The Animated Series reunion panel as part of the Wizard World Virtual Experiences 2020 event, Houston has now actually confirmed that a "conversation" has been had, though nothing has materialized yet. While Houston is retired, he has said that if this were to happen, it would him persuade him to come out of retirement to work on a limited revival of X-Men: The Animated Series, provided the original creative team was used:

"We've had talks, but that's about it. We've made conversation and it's up to them to make the decision, but we've let them know that we're all available for whatever they want to do in the future. Whatever they wanted to do if we had all the original team ... if we could do a special, a one-off episode, or a five-part episode. That's what I would come out of retirement for."

It's undestandable why Houston would only do a limited return for a number of reasons. It's become somewhat of an open secret how Fox liked to fiddle with show's productions, including infamously releasing the original episodes of Firefly out of order and not consistently on a weekly basis (Thus leading to dropped ratings and the show being cancelled in it's first season). X-Men: The Animated Series was no different with the show's episodes increasingly played out of scripted order to the point episodes made for one season were not produced and showed until well into an entirely different season.

In fact, the four-part season 4 finale "Beyond Good & Evil" was meant to be the series finale for the show, bringing into the fold nearly every character the series had used up until that point in a time-bending battle with Apocalypse, Mr. Sinister, and Magneto that took place literally outside of time and space. However, then Fox demanded more episodes be produced due to the show's popularity. This led to a season 5 being produced which had to feature an entirely different animation company and a more relaxed conclusion that saw Xavier leaving the planet Earth to heal.

So, if this revival did happen, for the sake of fans of the show, hopefully it will be a limited series that allows Houston and the team to maintain the creative integrity that made the original show so popular. Fingers (and adamantium claws) crossed. Stay tuned!

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