X-Men ’97 demonstrates that Disney isn’t above using nostalgia as a marketing tool. Announced during Disney Plus Day amid a slew of other Marvel news, X-Men ’97 is an upcoming animated show that will pick up right where X-Men: The Animated Series left off more than two decades ago. Expect to see a lot of the old cast and crew along for the ride as well.
X-Men '97: Release window
Information comes directly from Marvel, which offers some additional details for X-Men ’97 in a post on its website:
“The animated series that made X-Men a household name will continue in Marvel Studios’ X-Men ’97, coming exclusively to Disney+ in 2023!” writes Robyn Belt, manager of editorial content for Marvel Unlimited. “A new generation, and fans of the original decade-defining cartoon, will enjoy this all-new animated series that revists the iconic era and cast of characters from 1992’s X-Men: the Animated Series.”
X-Men '97: Cast
Returning fans will be happy to hear that X-Men ’97 will include many voice actors from the original series, including Cal Dodd (Wolverine), Lenore Zann (Rogue), George Buza (Beast) and Alison Sealy-Smith (Storm). New voice actors include fan-favorite talent, such as Jennifer Hale (Mass Effect), Ray Chase (Final Fantasy XV) and Jeff Bennett (Batman: The Brave and the Bold).
Norm Spencer, who played Cyclops, sadly passed away last year, but X-Men ’97 seems like a good place to memorialize his contribution to the franchise.
Behind the scenes, Eric and Julia Lewald, who were showrunners for the original series, will act as consultants, as will veteran X-Men director Larry Houston.
X-Men '97: Background
For those of you who weren’t around in the early-to-mid ‘90s (or who were, perhaps, too old to watch Saturday morning cartoons), Belt does not overstate the X-Men’s popularity. Marvel’s ambitious cartoon took the world of children’s pop culture by storm, spawning everything from a massive toy line to its very own brand of fruit snacks. The show ran for five years, and maintained a cohesive, developing story from start to finish, just like the comics that inspired it.
There aren’t many more details to share about X-Men ’97 yet, but we’ll almost certainly hear more about the project between now and 2023. Since Disney acquired 20th Century Fox, the X-Men movies have been in a state of limbo. That means there haven’t been many opportunities for fans to see the beloved mutant team outside of ongoing comic books. A new X-Men series seems like a sign that Marvel may be ready to reintegrate the team into TV and movie continuity.