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Josh Duhamel to Replace Emilio Estevez as Male Lead in ‘The Mighty Ducks: Game Changers’

Late last year, it was revealed that Emilio Estevez would not be returning as Coach Gordon Bombay in Disney+’s second season of The Mighty Ducks: Game Changers, citing “a myriad of creative differences.” Today, the studio has found a new lead to replace him.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Josh Duhamel (Transformers) has signed on to star in the series, which begins filming next month and will shoot until June. The actor fills the void created by the departure of Emilio Estevez and will play a new character in the second season of the series.

Duhamel will portray Gavin Cole, a former NHL player-turned-coach who is described as inspirational, charming and hardcore as he is big on the hockey metaphor that applies to life. He runs the super-intense summer hockey institute where the Mighty Ducks land for season two.

Read: Exclusive: ‘The Mighty Ducks: Game Changers’ Season Two Character Breakdowns

Season one is set in present-day Minnesota, the Mighty Ducks have evolved from scrappy underdogs to an ultra-competitive, powerhouse youth hockey team. After 12-year-old Evan Morrow (Brady Noon) is unceremoniously cut from the Ducks, he and his mom, Alex (Lauren Graham), set out to build their own team of misfits to challenge the cutthroat, win-at-all-costs culture of youth sports today. With the help of Gordon Bombay (Emilio Estevez), they rediscover the joys of playing just for the love of the game.

The series features a talented new team of up-and-coming young actors including Brady Noon, Maxwell Simkins, Swayam Bhatia, Luke Islam, Kiefer O’Reilly, Taegen Burns, Bella Higginbotham, and DJ Watts. Graham and the rest of the Ducks are set to return, while casting for new talent is underway.

The Mighty Ducks: Game Changers is produced by ABC Signature, a part of Disney Television Studios. Steve Brill serves as executive producer with Josh Goldsmith and Cathy Yuspa as executive producers and showrunners. Michael Spiller is also an executive producer/director on the series, with James Griffiths serving as director/EP on the Pilot. Emilio Estevez is an executive producer and Lauren Graham is co-executive producer. George Heller and Brad Petrigala of Brillstein Entertainment Partners and Jon Avnet and Jordan Kerner also serve as non-writing executive producers.