‘Mighty Ducks: Game Changers’: Why You Haven’t Seen Emilio Estevez In a While Before the Disney+ Show

The Disney+ series The Mighty Ducks: Game Changers could be Mighty Ducks 4. Emilio Estevez is back as Gordon Bombay to inspire a whole new generation of Ducks. You might not have seen much of Estevez since D3: The Mighty Ducks. That was Estevez’s attention. He stepped behind the camera until Game Changers brought him back. 

Emilio Estevez sitting in his office
Emilio Estevez | Liane Hentscher/ABC

Estevez spoke on a Zoom panel for the Television Critics Association. The Mighty Ducks: Game Changers is on Disney+ with new episodes Fridays. 

Emilio Estevez wanted to stop acting after ‘D3: The Mighty Ducks’

Estevez was expecting questions about where he’s been because he gets them all the time. 

“I’ve spent a lot of time in the central corridor of the country, outside the gatekeeper of the 213, 310 and the 212 area codes and I talk to a lot of people,” Estevez said. “In fact, I have a home in Ohio, Cincinnati. And in talking to people in the central corridor of the country, a lot of people say, ‘Well, we love you on screen. Where have you been?’”

Emilio Estevez at WE Day 2019
Emilio Estevez | Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic

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Estevez was a movie star in the ’80s and ’90s, but he was also a director. He directed the movies Wisdom, Men at Work, The War at Home and Rated X, in which he also starred. Estevez wanted to focus on directing though, so if you saw him on screen, it was likely in one of the movies he directed. 

I’ve spent the last 25 years pretty much behind the camera directing films. And to a lot of people, it had seemed like I had sort of dropped off the radar, that I wasn’t interested in acting anymore. The fact of the matter is that I kind of  I made a left turn. I exited mainstream motion pictures with The Mighty Ducks Part 3. I got into making independent films, films that had more of a social message. So that’s where I’ve been, really, for the last 25 years, making very personal movies like Bobby or The Way or, recently, The Public.  

Emilio Estevez, Television Critics Association panel, 2/24/21

‘Mighty Ducks’ is one of two movies people ask Emilio Estevez for sequels to

The Breakfast Club, St. Elmo’s Fire and Stakeout were all hits. Even Repo Man has a cult following. There are only two movies people ask Estevez for sequels to, though.

“[People say], ‘If you ever were to come back, we’d love to see you in two roles: One is Gordon Bombay in The Mighty Ducks and the other is Billy the Kid in Young Guns.’” Estevez said. “And so I’ve got one of those.  We’ve ticked one of those boxes.”

How ‘Game Changers’ convinced Emilio Estevez to return

They probably could have made a Mighty Ducks series without Estevez. They could have just had the new iteration of the team with new players. But, they wanted Estevez to return as Gordon Bombay.

Mighty Ducks Game Changers cast photo
Now on Disney+ | Disney

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“I said, ‘If we can capture the magic of the first films, the magic of the franchise. If we can create a cinematic experience and not just try to sort of cash in on the nostalgia aspect of it.’ And I think that’s ultimately what we’ve done.”