The Mighty Ducks: Disney+ Taps Josh Duhamel to Replace Emilio Estevez

The Mighty Ducks: Game Changers found its new male lead in Josh Duhamel, replacing original franchise star Emilio Estevez in the Disney+ sequel series. Duhamel will play Gavin Cole, a former NHL player-turned-coach who is as inspirational, charming, and hardcore as he is big on the hockey metaphor that applies to life. He runs the super-intense summer hockey institute that the Mighty Ducks find themselves in for the second season.

Mighty Ducks: Josh Duhamel to Fill Estevez's Skates on Disney+ Series
Credit: Disney+

Estevez, who starred in the original film trilogy since the original 1992 film, played Gordon Bombay, an attorney who found himself coaching youth hockey as part of his 500 hours of community service. While the sequels had Gordon trying out other hockey aspirations from playing to coaching at higher levels on a global stage (though still at the youth level). The franchise's popularity spawned an animated television series adaptation that lasted for only one season before the Disney+ revival TV series. In Game Changers, Gordon returned to the fold after his burnout from the game, becoming coach of the Don't Bothers.

Mighty Ducks: Josh Duhamel to Fill Estevez's Skates on Disney+ Series
Josh Duhamel. Photo courtesy of Cubankite /

Emilio Estevez's Exit from The Mighty Ducks: Game Changers

Duhamel (Jupiter's Legacy, Blade Runner: Black Lotus) joins other cast members including stars Lauren Graham and Brady Noon. Estevez departed the series in November 2021 following a contract dispute with Disney's ABC Signature. The studio had asked that all actors and those in Zone A on the series comply with a mandate to be vaccinated for COVID. The actor disputed his position as an "anti-vaxxer" and attributed his exit to creative differences. Cathy Yuspa and Josh Goldsmith return as showrunners for season two and co-created the series alongside the film's Steven Brill. James Griffiths and Michael Spiller exec produce, with the former having directed multiple episodes. Graham exec produces alongside George Heller and Brad Petrigala of Brillstein Entertainment Partners and Jordan Kerner will also exec produce. Spiller and Griffiths will not return for season two. Production will begin for season two in 2022. / The Hollywood Reporter

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About Tom Chang

I'm a follower of pop culture from gaming, comics, sci-fi, fantasy, film, and TV for over 30 years. I grew up reading magazines like Starlog, Mad, and Fangoria. As a writer for over 10 years, Star Wars was the first sci-fi franchise I fell in love with. I'm a nerd-of-all-trades.
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