According to a source close to the production, Estevez’s departure is due to a disagreement over ABC Signature’s COVID-19 vaccination requirement, as he would not confirm that he would comply with the policy. Therefore, the studio decided not to renew his contract for Season 2. Under the recent return-to-work agreement between studios and unions, production for “The Mighty Ducks: Game Changers” requires vaccination against COVID-19 for everyone in Zone A, which includes all actors and crew members who come into contact with them.
It is unclear exactly how Estevez’s character will be written off of the show. Disney had no comment on his departure from the show and a representative for Estevez did not respond to a request for comment.
Estevez had reprised the role of Gordon Bombay in the spinoff series, which he originated in the 1994 film “The Mighty Ducks” and its sequels. In “The Mighty Ducks: Game Changers,” Gordon’s love for hockey is reignited when a new underdog team begins to play at the Ice Palace, which he owns. He later becomes their assistant coach as they face off against the Ducks.
“The Mighty Ducks: Game Changers” also stars Lauren Graham, Brady Noon, Maxwell Simkins, Swayam Bhatia, Julee Cerda, Luke Islam, Bella Higginbotham, Taegen Burns, Kiefer O’Reilly and De’Jon Watts. It was renewed for Season 2 in August.
The spinoff received generally positive reviews, with Variety‘s Caroline Framke writing: “By subverting its source material’s premise and keeping Bombay in the mix but not at its center, ‘The Mighty Ducks: Game Changers’ makes sharp, timely updates to the timeless story of ‘good guy’ underdogs who just want to have some fun, but aren’t about to complain if they can stick it to the ‘bad guys’ with a win or two. That spirit, more than the team’s logo or legacy, is the real Ducks way.”
Deadline Hollywood was the first to report the news of Estevez’s departure.