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Disney+ X-Men '97 Writer Beau DeMayo Reveals How Mutants Changed His Life (Exclusive)

X-Men 97 Disney Beau DeMayo
By Russ Milheim

As much as the Marvel Cinematic Universe has been at the forefront of pop culture in the last decade, it’s easy to forget the other massive superhero group who hasn’t gotten the MCU treatment: The X-Men. Thankfully, after the purchase of Fox by Disney, that is set to change going forward. Those who absolutely love the characters are no doubt thrilled to one day see the mutants represented under Marvel Studios’ care.

The stories the group of heroes brings with them will surely help deepen and grow Marvel’s world in sizable ways. After all, the mythos behind their corner of the comic lore is undeniably massive.

But just what exactly about those mutants makes them so beloved by fans? 

The Direct was able to sit down with Beau DeMayo, the head writer for the upcoming animated revival of X-Men: The Animated Series, aka X-Men ‘97, where he revealed why the iconic group means so much to fans across the globe.

Why Mutants Are So Important

Disney+ X-Men 97
Marvel

In an exclusive interview, The Direct's Russ Milheim got to sit down with Beau DeMayo, the head writer of the upcoming X-Men '97 animated Marvel Studios project, to discuss what the X-Men meant to him, and also many fans around the world.

The writer started out by making it clear that "[he] grew up with [X-Men: The Animated Series]," and how the show was "[his] way of making sense" of not only his unique life circumstances but also of the wider world:

“I grew up with the show, I watched it. I was adopted, I think that’s what kind of brought me to the show. My parents are white, my sister is from Korea, they were also adopted, and I was gay, I was growing up in the south… everyone has a sad story, but like, X-Men was my way of kinda of making sense of this weird family where no one resembled me, but yet we weren’t blood, but we were supposed to be family."

The series also "united [his] passion for storytelling," and even helped him form "an understanding of what racism was:"

"And then I think just watching that cartoon every weekend, it united my passion for storytelling, definitely, and really helped me understand myself. [It] drew me to the comics, and then as I realized that I was gay, and as I even just got an understanding of what racism was—I was growing up with white people who accepted black people, so like I never really understood racism as a thing until I got older. I was like a late bloomer. I will tell you, X-Men comics were probably my lifeline to understanding how to navigate [the world]."

DeMayo went on to say that "[everyone has] a part of [them] that wants to burn it all down, and [one that] wants to find the compromise and built it up:"

"Anyone who feels different, we all have a Magneto inside of us, and we all have a Charles Xavier. We all have a part of us that wants to burn it all down, and there’s a part of us who wants to find the compromise and build it up. And those comics really helped me understand [what] my identity was in a way that many of the children [and] students of Xavier’s school do. My first screenplay I ever wrote, literally no bullshit, was when I was seventeen. Terrible script, terrible formatting, but it was an X-Men fan-fiction. It was terrible. But it is surreal now to be spearheading this revival, in a tremendous way. It is quite simply a dream come true, as cliche as that sounds.”

He isn't alone in his love for the X-Men, as the writer revealed that the group of mutants "is very close to Marvel Studios' hearts:"

"... X-Men, in particular, is something that is very close to Marvel Studios’ hearts, now that it’s back home at the studio. So that has been different. It’s just like, X-Men means something to a lot of people. There’s a weight and a responsibility there..."

X-Men ‘97 Will Only Be the Beginning

Hearing DeMayo talk about just why the iconic group of outcasts means so much to him, it’s clear why Marvel chose him for the job. It certainly seems that the classic mutants from the ’90s are in safe hands.

As a fan who's never quite fallen in love with the mutants of Marvel Comics, seeing someone else speak this passionately about them is truly eye-opening as to what the X-Men mean to some people.

It’s one of the true joys of comic book characters; there’s someone there for every type of person in every situation—there’ll always be somebody readers or viewers will be able to connect and relate to. The fact that the X-Men are favorites of many around the world makes it a mighty shame that fans have not been able to experience new mutant-focused stories in some time.

The Avengers have been in the spotlight for so long, but now it's finally time for Charles Xavier and all his students to get the storytelling treatment they deserve under Marvel Studios, and it all starts with X-Men ‘97.

X-Men ‘97 is rumored to be looking at a mid-2023 release window and is said to have ten episodes in its first season.