For executive producer Steve Brill, the man behind the “Mighty Ducks” film franchise and the Disney+ series based on the world, he knew it was inevitable: At some point, he was going to bring the original Quack Attack back.
That moment has finally arrived for viewers as cast members from the “Mighty Ducks” films come to the TV series for a special episode, available for streaming on Friday.
“The trickiest part was having to do this during a pandemic, shooting in Canada and having to get everybody up to Canada for one episode, which would take two weeks to shoot. And they’d have to quarantine for two weeks, also,” Brill tells CNN. “So everyone had to had to pretty much gave up a month of their life, if not more, to come up and do it.”
The result of the month-long commitment was a somewhat smaller reunion than Brill would have hoped — some original cast members are no longer actors and couldn’t commit to leaving their jobs for that period of time — but one that paid off on screen and off.
In the episode, former Ducks Connie (Marguerite Moreau), Kenny (Justin Wong), Adam (Vincent LaRusso), Fulton (Elden Henson), Avery (Matt Doherty) and Guy (Garette Henson) gather together for a gala being thrown by the team, which unbeknownst to them no longer embraces the underdog spirit that once powered their success.
Nonetheless, it serves as a reason for them to reconnect with Coach Bombay (Emilio Estevez), who they all haven’t seen for quite some time.
That part somewhat mirrors real life in that Estevez has been unable to attend various reunions of the cast that have happened over the years, Brill said. But that changed in a special moment on set.
“He was Coach Bombay to them, and they were very close, all the actors,” Brill said. “So it was very emotional to see them together. And it was Emilio [who] said, ‘Why don’t we just wait until it’s on the ice?’ because they had to practice skating, and we weren’t able to have dinners or anything because of Covid. I’m sure it would have been different, but because of Covid, the one time everyone was going to be together for the first time was everyone getting back on the ice skating together, including Emilio.”
Brill captured some of the moment on film.
“It was coach Bombay reuniting with these kids,” he said. “They’re grown people — 40-year-olds that haven’t seen Emilio in 20 years or so. It was very, very cool.”
With one successful reunion in the net, Brill hopes to bring back more faces from “Mighty Ducks” past if the show gets picked up for a second season, including Joshua Jackson and Kenan Thompson, both of whom were unavailable this time around. (Disney had not officially renewed the series. Streaming series are usually evaluated on a number of criteria, including things like rate of completion and same-day streams.)
“Josh had a child when this happened, on top of everything else, so it sort of made it a non-issue for him coming up. Also, I originally, years ago, discussed with Josh being a big part of this show as Charlie, and I want to leave that on the table,” he said. “I think there’s a whole season of storylines with Josh, if we’re able to make that happen schedule-wise.”
Very little seems off the table for Brill, also the man behind “Heavyweights,” which NFL quarterback Aaron Rodgers recently called out as his favorite Disney film.
“It’d be fun if I could get him next season and put him on skates,” Brill said. “I know he’s a California boy, so he probably doesn’t skate, but that would be awesome.”
So would mixing his “Mighty Ducks” and “Heavyweights” universes, he said. (Even though, he acknowledged, Thompson and Shaun Weiss appeared in both the “Mighty Ducks” films and “Heavyweights.”)
“What about bringing Lars (Tom Hodges) back as a coach for a team? All of a sudden you look over and Lars is a coach of one of the Minnesota teams or something,” he said “There’s this connection between Scott Whyte, who was Gunnar on [the] Iceland [team in ‘D2’], and then in ‘Ducks’ 3, we liked the person so much, we just made him a new character. There’s no rules! We can bring back an actor, and I’ll give them a new role. But if we want to bring an Iceland goon back or the actual actors, that’s a really good idea. That’s what season twos are for.”