Anyone reading this article is more than likely well acquainted with X-Men: The Animated Series. For those poor, tragically young souls, that are not, XTAS, as it’s affectionately referred to, was a Fox Kids Saturday morning animated serial based upon the adventures of the X-Men.
Using comics as source material, fans were able to follow and got to know the mutant heroes Wolverine, Cyclops, Jean, Rogue, Gambit, Storm, Jubilee, Beast, and Professor-X (with guest appearances like Cable, Bishop, Psylocke, Angel, Nightcrawler, and Colossus).
To this day, despite having hundreds of millions of studio dollars, none of the adapted movies have come close to touching the efforts made by that show (from a narrative standpoint). I’d argue without that groundbreaking show, the movie franchise would never have come to be.
As part of the Fox Kids line up, XTAS ran a total of 5 seasons before coming to an unceremonious end. Though the creators intended to end the show with its 4th season, Fox execs demanded another round of episodes.
The final season was plagued with production problems, mostly due to the animation being moved to another studio. Voice-acting duties had migrated, and the storytelling also suffered as episodes had become much more self-contained. Gone were the days of multi-part stories and season-long arcs that dominated the first 4 seasons.
The X-Men would go on to enjoy three more, unrelated animated ventures but nothing approached success that XTAS.
In 2016, XTAS showrunner Eric Lewald and his wife Julia (XTAS screenwriter) returned to the X-Men world via Twitter to launch the book, Previously On X-Men. Since then, Eric and Julia have been actively keeping XTAS alive, even more than the fiercely dedicated fandom by interacting with fans of the series. Their life-preserving efforts seemingly bore fruit when Disney+ announced plans to add the classic series to its catalog of streaming content.
Since the debut of Disney+ the franchise has been given new life. Fans, old and new, have flocked to their screens to binge and make their wishes known to Disney.
Not just for another X-Men series to add to the several that have existed, but a continuation of XTAS, produced by its original creators. It was a longshot as Disney has rarely ever given fans the time of day past turning conventions into Kevin Feige-fueled MCU rock concerts.
But that may not be the case this time around. While the XTAS duo have teased having an open line of communication with the powers that be at Disney, on Friday, December 6th they Tweeted the following:
“No, it’s not a new season #XMenTAS, but – b/c of NDA – we can only say that after many months of crunch work we turned in a ‘thing’ yesterday and have already received ‘things’ back – let’s just say that we are excited, and hope you will be, too!
No, it’s not a new season of #XMenTAS, but – b/c of NDA – we can only say that after many months of crunch work we turned in a ‘thing’ yesterday and have already received ‘things’ back – let’s just say that we’re very excited, and hope you will be, too! #PreviouslyonXMen #NewYear pic.twitter.com/YGXm7J0OhR
— XMenTAS (@xmentas) December 6, 2019
They’re telling us to not get excited while telling us to be excited. I can’t blame them, I hear those Disney NDAs can be terrifying. The idea of some X-Men projects coming from this team is good to hear. Even if it’s not a direct sequel series, it will have the necessary DNA as well as the financial backing of Disney and their juggernaut animation department and standards.
So, what do you think is on the way? Are you excited to hear the ‘news’? Let us know below.