'Mighty Ducks 4' Could Happen & One Possible Story is Pretty Dark

June 9, 2014

The Mighty Ducks

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?

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    If this came back as a nice light hearted story I would see it.
  • I would be all for a D4, but I don't want a plane tragedy, Gordon dying or another tragic event. All the Ducks movies were fun and didn't need to be adult themed. They were after all meant for kids. I'm still a fan to this day of the Anaheim Ducks hockey team because of the Mighty Ducks movies, so I'm sure the real hockey team could have some kind of tie-in promotion.
  • rickvanr
    The first film is a classic. D2 was awful, just atrocious. D3 was just ok. I'm down for a fourth, as long as they stay far away from craptastic cheap garbage D2.
    • Bobbin for Balls
      I liked the second more than the first. The bash brothers is where its at.
      • Denys Hernandez
        D2 was great. D3 was eh..needed a better plot. Didn't really do that well in the box office.
  • Andrew Neil Hooper
    I absolutely love the idea of the darker, serious sports drama story. Let these characters and the franchise grow up just like it's audience has. If they tried to make it a kids movie for today's kids it would completely lose the heart of the original.
  • TheOct8pus
    I smell a reboot.
  • IamSlave
    Would be great if done right but these things almost never are.
  • Brett Childress
    Hell yes I'd love too see it I still today wear #96. And it should be w all of them if possible in another Olympic game just not Jr Olympic or bring the kids back using the original people in having there kids play and beat the hawks
  • bro
    They need to do it with them all being a range of successful/unsuccessful older men/women and do it like they are trying to start an adult pickup league... along the way they get owned by a semi pro team and proceed to spend the rest of the movie trying to get revenge and win. Needs to be at least PG-13 and be comedy. The girls need to be roller derby players who come back to hockey. God, i hate studio is a super simple concept. Stop trying to make the players the teacher and repilot....SOOOO terrible.
    • Horace Winters
      Great idea.... but it's too good to be made probably.
  • 90skid
    leave the past in the past.. They already ruined GI Joe, Transformers, TMNT and Indiana Jones! Hollywood please stop raping my childhood and just make new original movies!!!
  • sirmichaelvalentine
    i just watched all 3 mighty ducks in a mini marathon and i too realize that D4 needs to be made but if they are going to keep the mighty duck as movie name then they need to keep the team as it i. new characters new kids new jokes etc etc but its the MIGHTY DUCKS people want to see no matter whos on the team we want the ducks screw having them as older adults bring in new kids they deserve their own shot as a new ducks generation i surely dont want to see grandpa ducks playing a pick up league why not dial it back to he 1st ducks movie the old duck team broke up where they dont nor never had a huge team of their own no league once they broke that was it. the mighty ducks name has gone to become legendary for regular and street hockey alike but because they didnt have the money once they broke they couldnt keep the team for future generations untill new street kids play around as the new ducks trying to replay the V formation failing at it badly which is about then the older ducks show up saying they are doing it completely wrong, they show them which also shows some great flash backs of the old V formation for nostalgia sakes. this is the only way D4 will happen at all is if they dial back to the original mighty ducks from 1992 no reboot no pick up league but the next ducks generation
    • adam lamonica
      Whose the coach in this scenario?
    • Эммануил Давид
      Grandpa ducks? They're not that old.
  • Justin
    I would love love to see a 4th movie. Don't make it for kids today then you'll just ruin, it'll be some bullcrap plot, and be super childish, and stupid. Keep it for our generation, and make if Rated R or PG-13, and come up w/ a creative plot.
  • Denys Hernandez
    Of course. I would love another movie. But with the original ducks. They're not that old. They're what in their 30s now? So I vote yes...make another one.
  • James R. Bossiquit Henry
    Yes I would!
  • Jordan Eleniak
    What about them all in the NHL. Some owner gets to create a new NHL team and rounds up all the ducks. Bombay is hired as coach and they make the run to the playoffs. They end up facing a challenging team that they've lost every game to in regular season. That, or they end up replacing a current team because of some tragedy. And again, make it to the Stanley Cup finals. If you want to keep it dark. Either way.
  • Hags
    here's a pretty basic outline as to what could happen without it being too dark: the NHL says none of its players can participate in the Olympics anymore (realistically might happen very soon). Team USA scrambles to put a team together, and they decide to have Gordon Bombay coach the team as no one else wants too. Gordon goes on a recruiting mission, first getting Charlie to play, even though his NHL playing career was cut short due to injury and doesn't have the same passion for the game as he once did. they then go on to convince now retired NHL superstar Adam Banks to join as well because this team will need some actual firepower in order to have a chance at winning. They go on to different corners of country recruiting their old teammates that are in various stages of their playing careers (independent leagues, beer leagues, out of hockey all together) to lace up one more time. They get to the Olympics where their old nemesis Iceland is waiting.
  • Rich Anderson
    Okay my question is this. I can understand if the movie is true to life (eg: Remember the Titans or We Are Marshall) having a plane crash because its part of the history. But D4 DOES NOT need another character death, especially someone as essential to the plot as Bombay. I felt the same way when Hans died in D3. They didn't even explain it or tell how it happened. It just happened. Without proper explanation, deaths are unnecessary in movies.
    • Baby Blue
      watched d3 last night. Hans looks fine and just dies after seeing Charlie. He says "good bye charlie when he leaves", then just dies i guess. Seemed fine to me
  • Jesse Hayward
    It could happen, but with some real-life events required. Henry Samueli would need to sell the Anaheim Ducks to an owner(s) who would be willing to work with Disney on the IP rights. Given that California is full of twenty-somethings who made it big in technology (and probably grew up watching the films) it is highly possible to see this happening. Steve Jobs's trust also owns 7% of Disney, and has voting rights on the Board Of Directors. Swaying key family members/having the trust invest could help the Disney part. Now for the movie itself, love the idea of Adam Banks being a retired NHL superstar. In the first movie, he is referenced by Coach Riley as someone who could "go all the way". This would be proof. Secondly, Charlie becomes a coach in the second movie, temporarily. That could be leveraged somehow. I think that the rest of the old-school Ducks characters could serve smaller roles, as they character development never really did exceed Bombay or Charlie, really. (A bit of Adam Banks, but nobody else) They could act as an "inspiration" to a team that got beaten by archrivals like the Hawks, Team Iceland, or Eden Hall Varsity. Bombay becomes the new Hans, buying the old decrepit store with his Goodwill/lawyer money, and resurrecting it back to it's glory. Conway becomes a coach to a new group of Ducks, Banks becomes an NHL superstar who is idolized by the new kids. (like Gretzky in D2) The old ducks take on non-hockey professions, and come back to motivate the old ducks during a heavy loss in a championship tournament, being summoned by Charlie and Bombay to instill the Ducks spirit into the new kids.
    • brad fedick
      disney owed the rights to the mighty ducks franchise thats why the nhl dropped "mighty" from its name after a few years so making new movie wouldn't affect the nhl franchise or rights




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