Marvel’s bringing back X-Men: The Animated Series in the upcoming Disney Plus revival X-Men ’97, but the original series’ most iconic component will have cost them extra.
A new report reveals that the rights associated with X-Men: The Animated Series were in a bit of a complicated situation when Marvel decided to reboot the 1990s classic. In particular, the series’ theme tune belonged to a separate rights holder.
No ’90s X-Men revival would be complete without the animated series’ beloved electric-guitar-heavy theme tune, so Marvel had no choice but to cough up a little extra for the rights to the series’ music.
Speaking at Pennsylvania’s Steel City convention, Eric Lewald, writer/developer of X-Men: The Animated Series, revealed the fascinating story behind Marvel’s revival of the series.
The original X-Men series arrived at a time before vast cinematic universes and blockbuster superhero franchises, when there was probably less impetus for a studio to ensure they had all the rights for a simple Saturday morning cartoon locked down. Either that, or composer Ron Wasserman was smart enough to know he had a masterpiece on his hands and held on tight.
In any case, Lewald revealed that Marvel would have likely had to pay up for the rights to the theme tune for X-Men ’97:
“[The X-Men: The Animated Series theme song] wasn’t a done deal, necessarily, when they were producing the new show. The rights were all over the place. I think a secondary person had the rights to the music, so it was a negotiation for them. Obviously, you can’t do the new show without that song. But the guy selling it knew the same thing, so I’m sure it was a heavy price.”
Marvel have certainly been getting their money’s worth though, having already made use of the theme to score Professor X’s Earth-838 cameo in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness and the reveal that Iman Vellani’s Kamala Khan is a mutant in Ms. Marvel.
X-Men ’97 is set to feature the return of voice actors Cal Dodd, Lenore Zann, George Buza, Adrian Hough, Christopher Britton, Catherine Disher, Chris Potter, Alison Sealy-Smith, and Alyson Court. The Disney Plus series also features the voice talents of Jennifer Hale, Anniwaa Buachie, Ray Chase, Matthew Waterson, JP Karliak, Holly Chou, Jeff Bennett, and AJ LoCascio.
Stay tuned for all the latest news surrounding the upcoming animated series revival and be sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel for more content.