'Mighty Ducks 4' Could Happen & One Possible Story is Pretty Dark
by Ethan Anderton
June 9, 2014
It's been 22 years since The Mighty Ducks took to the ice, and only 18 years since their final match arrived in D3: The Mighty Ducks. So Time thought there was no better time to dive into an oral history of the entire Disney sports drama franchise, a childhood staple of many kids who lived through the 90s and ended up loving the classic rock of Queen by association. There's been rumblings here and there about some sort of return to the franchise, either in the form of an adult sequel or a remake, and with the aforementioned recent foray into the making-of the trio of films starring Emilio Estevez and Joshua Jackson, we have some details on that possibility, and also one potential, fairly dark storyline. Read on!
First of all, franchise producer Jordan Kerner cautions that there's no active development of The Mighty Ducks 4, however, there's certainly interest from the studio, and they discussed the prospect. Kerner said:
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.
So exactly what kind of stories have they come up with? Well, one is something that any fan of the franchise has probably thought of, and it's the easiest route Disney could take. Kerner explains:
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.
However, another direction that was discussed sounds pretty dark, and almost feels like a sequel that would have hints of The Big Chill, but with flashes back to another milestone game in all the players' careers. Kerner elaborated:
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.
Alas, Kerner laments that it "wasn't meant to be," but that sounds like a pretty damn cool sequel idea if you ask me. As someone who loves the original films for what they are, the nostalgic part of my brain would absolutely love to see what Kerner and writer Steven Brill could come up with for a sequel nowadays. And Joshua Jackson, who has since gone on to star in projects like the series "Fringe," is anxious for a sequel to happen. Jackson says:
I feel like a fourth film should happen, and if there was space for any of the original kids that come back and have a role, I would be surprised that anybody didn’t want to do it, The next generation should have its own version. Not that we need to come back as adults, but I hope my kids grow up and play pickup hockey and I hope that they have their own movies like my generation had those movies. In that way, yeah, of course, I’d be a part of something like that.
The only cast member who has an active of a career as someone like Jackson is Kenan Thompson, firmly situated at "Saturday Night Live." Some of the other young cast members have popped up on series like "Mad Men" and whatnot, but most of them didn't survive in show business after their childhood careers.
Frankly, I'd love to see them all rounded up as adults. My idea for a Mighty Ducks movie would see them as adults called upon to replace an adult Olympic team, maybe after tragically dying in a plane crash, but that's pretty dark and maybe too similar to D2: The Mighty Ducks. But another face-off between Iceland would be pretty damn interesting. The same basic idea could be used in a film similar to The Replacements, only with hockey instead of football. Anyway, it doesn't sound like we'll be getting D4: The Mighty Ducks anytime soon, but it's fun to think about the possibility. Would you like to see another Mighty Ducks?