Actor Josh Duhamel is set to replace Emilio Estevez in the Disney+ series The Mighty Ducks: Game Changers. More specifically, Duhamel will not be taking over the role of Coach Gordon Bombay, but will be playing a new original character. However, he will be playing the part of head coach to a group of peewee hockey players. Last year, there were rumors that Estevez had been fired by Disney Studios over not obeying a Covid-19 vaccine mandate. However, the star of The Breakfast Club later made a statement that he had voluntarily left the series over “creative difference.” He was still somewhat vague as to his vaccination status, but said he supported taking precautions against the deadly virus.
In the next season of The Mighty Ducks: Game Changers, Josh Duhamel will be introducing a character named Gavin Cole. A former NHL player, he will serve as the new head coach to the young athletes as they attend a summer hockey program. The streaming revival series of the 1990s Disney hockey franchise was well received, currently holding an 89% on Rotten Tomatoes.
The original 1992 film starred Emilio Estevez as an arrogant Minneapolis hotshot lawyer and former junior hockey phenomenon who rediscovers his sense of morality via teaching underdog kids. It was basically a mix of The Bad News Bears and a G-Rated Dangerous Minds, plus a dash of corporate synergy as Disney founded a real life NHL team then known as the Anaheim Mighty Ducks. It spawned two sequels to increasingly lackluster response, and eventually went dormant.
But nostalgia is a powerful force, and Disney launched The Mighty Ducks: Game Changers in March of last year. In a twist on the original underdog story, the Disney+ series now had the Mighty Ducks being a successful and snooty team. The underdogs had eventually become overdogs. After kicking some players off the roster, Estevez’s Gordon Bombay was recruited to coach a new ragtag bunch, who ended up acquiring the right to use the name of Ducks at the end of the season. Presumably, the second season will find some new way for The Mighty Ducks to be outclassed, this time under Josh Duhamel’s tutelage.
For his past, Josh Duhamel has been a reliable presence on TV screens since appearing on the soap opera All My Children in the early 2000s. He has also starred as Colonel William Lennox in the Transformers franchise of films since the Michael Bay reboot in 2007. Around the same time, Duhamel staked out a good claim to romantic comedy leads, appearing in movies like Love, Simon, When in Rome, New Year’s Day and The Lost Husband at a consistent pace.
Most recently, he was part of the main cast of Netflix’s generational superhero series, Jupiter’s Legacy, as the Superman-analogue The Utopian. It appears that at least for now, Duhamel has defected from one streaming giant to another. The new season of The Mighty Ducks: Game Changers will be released some time in 2022, though Disney has not yet announced a date.