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.
A Tune With The X-Factor
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.
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