In the 1990s, the creator of Gargoyles was in a meeting with the then-chairman of Disney, Michael Eisner. The meeting was about potentially buying a comic book company we’re all very familiar with.
“I was at a meeting where he wanted to buy Marvel Comics,” Greg Weisman said to Polygon as part of a fascinating in-depth interview about the cult classic animated series he helped bring to life. “This was in the mid-1990s. And he was talked out of it in the meeting, which is still wildly ironic to me. So he said, ‘Well, Warner Brothers has DC Comics, we need to have an action universe like DC or Marvel.’ And he turned to me and said, ‘Could we use Gargoyles as the launching pad for a Disney action universe?’ And I said yes.”
As we know by now, this never actually came to fruition. Weisman says that after the Eisner meeting he and his team “began to develop all these spinoffs and backdoor pilots, like the New Olympians and the Pendragon episode, and others that we put into the second season.” It’s a big reason why he still to this day has a massive list of ideas and shows that could, potentially, bring Gargoyles back, especially since all three seasons are now on Disney+.
“Gargoyles is still my baby,” he said, “I don’t own it. I don’t get a dime off of it being on Disney+. And yet I’m so thrilled that it is, I’m thrilled that it represents a chance—even if it’s a slim chance—to bring it back. I’ve always wanted to do more. I’ve got a timeline for the show that’s 315 pages long. I’ve got notebooks and comp books full of ideas for it. Spin-off notions and all sorts of things. Literally nothing would make me happier than to go back and do more Gargoyles.”
And, Weisman admits, “There have been times over the years, I don’t know how serious they were, but discussions about maybe bringing it back in some way or another.” But then a few things happened at Disney. Things that probably should have happened back in the mid-1990s when he was meeting with Michael Eisner.
“All those discussions got derailed when Disney bought Lucasfilm and Marvel,” he said. “And you can see why. Why take a chance on what they viewed as an obscure 1990 show with a cult following when you can just do a Spider-Man cartoon or a Star Wars cartoon?”
So it seems that, despite a brief moment where Gargoyles could have been the biggest thing at Disney, that chance has all but passed. As Weisman said, though, he’d love to go back to the show—and he did have some interesting things to say about the 2018 news of Jordan Peele being interested in making Gargoyles.
“My understanding—not inside information, just my understanding—is that he expressed an interest in the property. And Disney didn’t say no,” Weisman said. “But by not saying yes, that answers the question. You know, they didn’t want to say ‘No’ to Jordan Peele, but they also didn’t want to say ‘Yes’ to Gargoyles. So it just didn’t go anywhere. I’d like to think—I don’t know this, I want to make that clear—that he’d still be interested in doing something with it if a new opportunity arose. I can’t say for sure if that’s true, I have no idea. But I would hope so. I’m a huge fan of his. Should he read this article, I would love to work with him.”
For Gargoyles fans, it’s got to be both uplifting and gut-wrenching to hear what could have been. Yes, the show you loved was once that highly thought of. But now, that time has passed. Probably. We’ll see.
Again, head over to Polygon to read the full piece on Gargoyles, including more spin-off ideas, how the second season came to be, why Weisman doesn’t like the third season, how O.J. Simpson helped kill the show, and much much more.