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Fans far and wide were delighted to see their favorite mutants take the stage at this year’s Los Angeles Comic-Con. Since its debut in 1992, X-Men: The Animated Series has become a staple of not just children’s television, but television period. Taking the stage for this special panel was writer/director/animator Larry Houston, as well as voice actors Chris Britton (Mr. Sinister), Lenore Zann (Rogue), George Buza (Beast), Chris Potter (Gambit), and Cal Dodd (Wolverine).
Each actor shared their own story about what it was like coming into audition for the first time for these iconic characters. While Dodd and Zann both stated they didn’t know the comic book, Buza shared that he had been a fan since childhood and tried his absolute hardest to get on the show. Potter shared that he went into the audition on a whim without really understanding the depths of the X-Men characters and the writing that was going into the show. However after booking the job, he came to find that it stands as one of his most cherished projects. He also shared that he had auditioned for first live-action X-Men film back in the late 90s, but ultimately walked away when he learned that Gambit was not slated to appear in the film and that he was being considered for the role of Cyclops.
Zann shared that she almost wasn’t a part of the original series because she didn’t go to the initial auditions because her main focus had been another series she was working on at the time. At the urging of her agent she went to one of the final callback audition and had gotten seen for the first time. From the second the producers heard Rogue’s southern drawl, they knew they had her.
In closing, Houston stated that for the casting process, most of the producers in LA didn’t search for local television actors. They sought out actors that had a strong theatre background, particularly in Shakespeare, so that the weight of the material could be properly conveyed. One might assume it’s safe to say that the right choice was made, as X-Men the Animated Series has touched the lives of millions.
X-Men: The Animated Series is currently available on DVD and will soon be available for streaming on Disney +.