Joshua Jackson will not appear as fan favorite character Charlie Conway in The Mighty Ducks: Game Changers, but fans shouldn’t give up hope on seeing the actor’s return to the franchise just yet. Debuting on Disney+ in March , Game Changers brings back series star Emilio Estevez to reprise the role of Coach Gordon Bombay. Serving as a sequel to the movie trilogy, the door was also left wide open for other original stars to return.
In the newest episode of the series, six original cast members came back to reprise their roles as former members of The Mighty Ducks junior hockey team. The episode, titled “The Spirit of the Ducks,” commemorates the 25th anniversary of the team’s formation. Coming in for the special occasion were former Ducks players Fulton Reed (Elden Henson), Averman (Matt Doherty), Adam Banks (Vinny La Russo), Connie (Marguerite Moreau), Guy (Garret Henson), and Kenny Wu (Justin Wong).
Of course, fans of the original movies will quickly notice that Joshua Jackson isn’t a part of this group. In a recent chat with Entertainment Weekly, executive producer and original franchise writer Steven Brill explained why Jackson’s return wasn’t in the cards for the show, at least not at this time. As Brill notes, the pandemic of 2020 made it very hard to bring back the original cast members, and we were lucky to see the six stars who were able to return.
“I always knew I wanted to bring back the original Ducks and tie them into this series. Quite honestly, I think I would have woven more of them in had it not been for COVID. It was literally almost impossible to get the actors up to Canada because they had to quarantine and stay up there for a month to be a part of the show. When COVID hit, it became apparent that people that would come up would probably only be able to stay for one episode, which was already a month-long commitment – two weeks to quarantine and two weeks to shoot.”
Brill goes on to explain how he would have preferred to sprinkle in the original actors throughout the season. We could have seen “Fulton working construction” or “Averman as a teacher at the high school.” Given the filming difficulties, Brill and the creative team had to make compromises, resulting in the reunion in the sixth episode of Game Changers. Now, the plan is to bring back more of the original characters not seen in season 1 if the series is able to get a renewal for season 2 at Disney+.
“We had to compress it all into one reunion episode this time around We need season 2 because we gotta talk about Charlie! And Charlie’s mom Casey [Heidi Kling]! And what happened to the Bash Brothers and Julie ‘The Cat’ Gaffney [Colombe Jacobsen-Derstine]. We have stories and things we want to explore, and I’m excited to leave all the avenues open. It was a real puzzle and COVID added a whole other layer, but the extent that it happened is amazing to me. It was not easy so I’m glad it was able to happen at all.”
Expanding further upon Charlie Conway, Joshua Jackson’s character, Brill also explained why Jackson couldn’t make it for season 1. Still, if season 2 gets made, Brill really wants to revisit that character to see where Charlie is these days.
“With Josh we always talked about when we’re going to bring him back, we’re going to bring him back in a big substantial real way. COVID made it hard. He actually just had a baby right in the middle of this and the idea of him coming up wasn’t practical or possible. And then the idea that we can then explore that storyline down the line was something we wanted to preserve.”
“Josh Jackson’s Charlie Conway was a huge part of this and people want to know and Josh obviously has been an incredibly successful actor and personality over the last 30 years. I think it’d be great to bring him in intimately into the second season.”
Another popular character many fans want to see again is goalie Greg Goldberg, played by Shaun Weiss in the Mighty Ducks trilogy. Unfortunately, times have been hard on Weiss in recent years. Last year, he was arrested on suspicion of burglary while under the influence of meth. In January, the former child star celebrated a year of sobriety and was looking much more happy and healthy. His personal issues possibly dampened his chances of returning as Goldberg in season 1, but with Weiss having since turned his life around, maybe he could come in in season 2. This news comes to us from Entertainment Weekly.
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