X-Men '97: DeMayo, Winderbaum Talk Animated Series 30th Anniversary
Along with it being the greatest holiday of the year (yes, Halloween), today also marks another important milestone for millions of viewers around the world. Today marks the 30th anniversary of X-Men: The Animated Series, so who better to ask to share their feelings on the impact the influential animated series had on their lives than X-Men '97 writer & executive producer Beau DeMayo and Brad Winderbaum, head of streaming, television & animation for Marvel Studios. Here's a look at the highlights from the duo's conversation with Marvel.com.
"You can't overstate what the Lewalds and Larry Houston did with 'X-Men: The Animated Series.' Thirty years ago, this underdog cartoon did in real life what Professor X's students did in the comics: saved people," DeMayo explained. "I've always said I owe my life to the show, and many on 'X-Men '97' feel the same. The show just 'went there.' It didn't care that it was a cartoon. It knew that we all know what it feels like to be an outsider, to feel misunderstood, or like we don't belong. But 'X-Men: The Animated Series' showed us how anyone can use empathy, grace, and teamwork to build a family that can withstand whatever the world throws at them. And thirty years later, its message of hope remains as relevant as ever." Winderbaum added, "As a kid, 'X-Men: The Animated Series' was my gateway into comics, and now as a producer, it's amazing to see just how influential the show was. It is by far the most-referenced touchstone for filmmakers, writers, and directors who come in to work with us at Marvel Studios."
Earlier this month, DeMayo fielded some questions on social media that included shedding some light on the upcoming animated series revival. With production first getting underway in Fall 2020 and a second season confirmed, DeMayo sees the animated series as a large part of his life "for the foreseeable future," along with two upcoming non-MCU feature projects. As for the series and how it will be received by a fanbase that's remained faithful to the series since it originally left our screens, DeMayo admitted that it's a concern but also that he's "not worried" because of the "amazing talent" that's working on the series.
DeMayo Only Wanted Fans Working on "X-Men '97": "My general rule was you had to be a fan. No questions," DeMayo explained. "I've been on [a] show, namely '[The] Witcher,' where some of the writers were not or actively disliked the books and games… even actively mocking the source material. It's a recipe for disaster and bad morale. Fandom as a litmus test checks egos and makes all the long nights worth it." As DeMayo sees it, "you have to respect the work before you're allowed to add to its legacy."
DeMayo Has "Mixed Feelings" on Rogue Controlling Her Powers: "I am aware that Rogue learned to control her powers, and I have mixed feelings on the shift. However, trust me when I say Rogue fans have plenty to be stoked about… in no small part due to [Supervising Producer] Charley Feldman being a massive advocate for her character."
With Magneto as the team leader, we learned during this past summer's San Diego Comic-Con (SDCC) that Sunspot, Cable, Bishop, and Nightcrawler were among the newest additions. In addition, even though the series isn't set to hit streaming screens until Fall 2023, a second season had already been given a green light.