X-Men '97 Director Talked About Increased Adult Themes

X-Men '97 Director Talked About Increased Adult Themes

As X-Men '97 is released on a streaming service, the staff has more creative freedom to feature adult themes.

X-Men '97 Credit: Marvel Studios Animation / Disney+

X-Men ‘97 may have continued what X-Men: The Animated Series started, but it visibly features more mature topics than the Saturday morning cartoon. The reboot features intense action, with the X-Men unleashing their superhuman abilities to win battles in dangerous situations and the love triangle between Rogue, Magneto, and Gambit. Though it has been three weeks since the first season ended, director Jake Castorena discussed the increased adult themes in the reboot.

In an interview with Discussing Film, Castorena revealed that the controversial issues tackled in ­X-Men ‘97 were still based on the original animated series. However, compared to X-Men: The Animated Series airing on a TV network, they had more creative freedom doing the revival on a streaming service like Disney+. This allowed them to extend the limits of what they could do instead of following the standard of broadcast TV.

“Having those parameters and freedom is great, knowing if we need to make more time or shorten the time for a moment to work,” he said. “We can show violence and not have to shy away from it as well.”

Despite that, Castorena and his team still gave themselves “false parameters in every aspect.” Amid wanting to add more features to the revival, they realized it would be “a little too advanced” compared to what that original series could have done. Hence, before adding new elements, they would ask themselves if they could do it in a way that they could have done so in the past to maintain the essence of the original show.

“For example, we have a way that we’re working on water right now. One of our vendors gave us an effects pass, and it was like, ‘Oh, that’s too clean. To do a painted card and then a two-frame cycle, that’s just too advanced,’” he explained. “Then, we tried a low-tech approach, and it was like, ‘Wow, this really works.’”

X-Men ‘97 bravely featured some brutal scenes, like Wolverine and Magneto’s battle in Episode 9, Tolerance is Extinction – Part 2. After Wolverine stabbed Magneto in the chest, the latter used his magnetic superpowers and ripped his adamantium claws and his whole adamantium skeleton out of his body. This showed a fatally injured Wolverine and a lot of blood coming out.

As for the romance part, Rogue, Magneto, and Gambit got involved in a love triangle that made the fall of Genosha more complicated. Storm and Forge formed an unlikely relationship, while Jubilee and Sunspot started a teen romance.


Will there be X-Men ‘97 Season 2?

The success of X-Men ‘97 Season 1 built incredible hype for X-Men ‘97 Season 2. The show was renewed ahead of the first season’s release and has been in the works since. Marvel Studios' head of streaming, television, and animation, Brad Winderbaum, told ComicBook that the second season is in the animatic phase, and fans have to wait a little longer before new episodes finally hit the small screen as the animation takes a long time to make.

Castorena also likened the production of X-Men ‘97 Season 2 to “baking a cake.” As they started working on the second season while still doing the first, he teased the show is “well underway and being made.” And, as nobody wanted to ruin the cake, they are following the process of it in detail to deliver another high-quality animated series that fans will love. But whatever path the second season takes, he also stressed that it will stick to the original series’ DNA while making it fresh but still familiar.


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There are high expectations surrounding X-Men ‘97 Season 2, and it’s easy to see why. The first season has been lauded for building on the 1990s animated series, bringing on major nostalgia while tackling some serious issues with great care. That said, many hope the second season continues this tone and matches or surpasses what the first season delivered.

All episodes of X-Men ‘97 Season 1 are available on Disney+.

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Jonnalyn Cortez (1133 Articles Published)

Jonnalyn is a book lover who discovers Netflix and gets stuck on the couch watching all day. If she’s not busy writing about her favorite fandoms, she plays with her Star Wars-inspired-named dogs, Chewie and Wookie.