Disney Wants to Make a Fourth Mighty Ducks Movie

There’s an entire generation of kids who grew up on The Mighty Ducks, a pretty shameless Bad News Bears rip-off starring Emilio Estevez as a down-on-his-luck lawyer who agrees to coach a pee-wee hockey team to avoid jail time. Despite the familiarity of the formula, the film was made with class and spawned two sequels and a completely unrelated sci-fi superhero animated series, but installments ceased production after the mid-1990s and the franchise has since taken its place as a hallmark of childhood nostalgia.

But Disney has never been one to pass up a chance to exploit a brand, and producer Jordan Kerner has revealed in a recent Time retrospective that the House of Mouse is interesting in producing a fourth film – and not, curiously enough, a reboot – if the right pitch comes along.

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“There have been a number of times that we have discussed with the studio the idea of either bringing it back and bringing it back possibly with one or two of the guys who are now in their thirties as the coaches, and having a few more of them be their friends in their lives and having the kids come back, says Jordan Kerner.

“And I’ve been pitched a story two or three times. It hasn’t been the right story yet, but the idea of doing that is something Steve and I have talked about and actually Disney and I have talked about. So I’m not going to fuel the rumor mill that it’s going to happen, but I’m saying to you that the studio said to us, “We’d be interested if you come to us with the right story.” And that’s something that we’ve been all thinking about independently and I think that we may be coming closer to having the right idea for that.”

Kerner also reveals that he had originally pitched a very final ending to the Mighty Ducks franchise that would have killed off Emilio Estevez’s character and reunited his players as adults to remember the impact he had on their lives.

“I wanted to license this dark adult play, That Championship Season. It was going to be the death of Gordon Bombay as an older man, and Marty was going to play him. And Goldberg would be played by like Jim Belushi. You know, we were literally going to pair up everybody with a present-day actor, but it was going to be not unlike Chariots of Fire, the sort of look back at a moment in time when their coach came back to them and did something that changed their lives forever. So you cut from the present of the kids and they would have been all of 18 or 19, so they would have become the high school seniors. And we probably would have played the third movie that I wanted to make, which would have been that return to the Goodwill Games and losing to Iceland. But it would be set against this thing going on in a bar or restaurant where all the present-day guys grown up talking about what this coach meant to them. And we’d see that played out against them as 18-year-olds on the ice and Emilio playing in that and his father playing in a series of scenes where he was dying and they had to say their goodbyes. So I was looking for a really literate and emotional way for all of them to come back together again as men and to say goodbye to the man who meant so much to them. But it wasn’t meant to be.”

Head on over to Time to read the rest of their excellent retrospective with the actors and filmmakers from the Mighty Ducks film franchise, and start writing those pitches for The Mighty Ducks 4. You never know, you just might be the one who responsible for restarting the once-mighty franchise.

This Week in Film News – Week Ending 06/13/2014

William Bibbiani is the editor of CraveOnline’s Film Channel and the host of The B-Movies Podcast and The Blue Movies Podcast. Follow him on Twitter at @WilliamBibbiani.