Emilio Estevez Isn't Returning To Disney+'s Mighty Ducks Show And There Are Two Possible Reasons Why

emilio estevez as gordon bombay for the mighty ducks game changers
(Image credit: Disney+)

Emilio Estevez made his triumphant return to the role of Gordon Bombay from the beloved Mighty Ducks franchise with Disney+’s Game Changers TV show, and played an important role in the first season. Now, however, The Mighty Ducks: Game Changers will reportedly continue into Season 2 without Estevez, and there are actually two potential reasons for his departure, and neither looks good for the actor changing his mind. 

Emilio Estevez will not be returning for Season 2 of The Mighty Ducks: Game Changers according to a report from Deadline, which cites two different reasons given by different parties about the decision for Bombay not to be part of the next chapter of the Mighty Ducks story despite his enthusiasm ahead of Season 1

One side of the story is that Bombay won’t be appearing in Season 2 due to conflict over Game Changers requiring COVID vaccination, resulting in Disney Television Studios’ ABC Signature making the call not to pick up Emilio Estevez’s option for a second season. It reportedly wasn’t a decision that was made abruptly, but following prolonged debate between production and Estevez’s team. 

At the time of writing, neither studio representatives nor Emilio Estevez himself have released a statement on Estevez’s departure to confirm whether or not the issue centered on the COVID vaccination, but The Mighty Ducks: Game Changers was one of multiple shows under the Disney TV Studios banner that requires vaccinations for Zone A, which is comprised of the actors as well as certain members of the crew. The policy is mandatory, so a refusal to take the vaccine could well be the issue. But that’s not the only possible reason at this point. 

The other side of the story reportedly comes from sources with inside knowledge, who suggest that creative differences actually motivated Emilio Estevez’s departure from The Mighty Ducks: Game Changers. There was seemingly a time crunch to resolve the differences between the two sides, no matter which reason (if either) is the whole truth behind Estevez leaving the show. The second season has a planned production start date for early in 2022 after the first season’s release in May 2021, and the scripts being written needed to take into account whether or not Bombay would be part of the story.

Fortunately, even though Gordon Bombay was arguably the biggest hook of Game Changers for fans of the original ‘90s films, the show did not center on him, and the first season developed enough other characters and a solid enough storyline that the show should work without him. It should be interesting to see what other film stars will make cameos in the second season without Bombay, if any.

For now, only time will tell if either Emilio Estevez or Disney comment on the actor’s exit from the show. If you’re in the mood for a fix of The Mighty Ducks, you can find the full first season of Game Changers streaming on Disney+ now, as well as the three movies. For more viewing options now and in the coming weeks, be sure to check out our 2021 fall TV premiere schedule .

Laura Hurley
Senior Content Producer

Laura turned a lifelong love of television into a valid reason to write and think about TV on a daily basis. She's not a doctor, lawyer, or detective, but watches a lot of them in primetime. Resident of One Chicago, the galaxy far, far away, and Northeast Ohio. Will not time travel, but will sneak references to The X-Files into daily conversation.