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“X-Men '97” creator unexpectedly fired a week before series premiere

Beau DeMayo had been attached to the project since November 2021, but he's since deleted his Instagram account and canceled his press plans.

One week before the highly anticipated animated series X-Men '97 is set to arrive on Disney+, creator and showrunner Beau DeMayo has been fired from the project, EW has confirmed.

The Hollywood Reporter was the first to break the news, at which time DeMayo, who's been active on social media promoting the sequel to X-Men: The Animated Series, deleted his Instagram page. EW has reached out to representatives for DeMayo and Disney for comment.

It's currently unclear why the exit happened, seemingly so abruptly. DeMayo, who was announced for the job in November 2021, told EW earlier this year that he was already well into work on a second season. He has since completed work on season 2, although a renewal has not been formally announced by Disney and Marvel Studios. DeMayo was also scheduled to conduct additional interviews with press to promote season 1 of the show, which is premiering March 20, but he's since been removed from the media rotation.

<p>Amy Sussman/Getty; Marvel Animation</p> Beau DeMayo; 'X-Men '97'

Amy Sussman/Getty; Marvel Animation

Beau DeMayo; 'X-Men '97'

X-Men '97 picks up where X-Men: The Animated Series left off in the 1990s. DeMayo had expressed his connection to the themes of found family and discrimination that are so prevalent in X-Men stories, having grown up as gay Black man within an adopted family.

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"It's always interesting to take Xavier's dream and turn it on its head," he told EW in setting up the show. "When I first came to this, I was thinking about what the world of the '90s was like, even issues of social acceptance and what does it mean to be different? It was so much more simplistic than it is today. [The X-Men] spent years telling humanity to embrace the future, walk into the future together. What happens when they get hit with a future they didn't see coming? What does it feel like to be on the other end when you feel like that future is leaving you behind?"

An ensemble of veteran and newcomer actors are populating the cast, from Cal Dodd as Logan/Wolverine and Alison Sealy-Smith as Ororo Munroe/Storm to Jennifer Hale as Jean Grey and Theo James as an undisclosed fan-favorite character.

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