Disney’s DuckTales has checked every box a reboot is required to make and then some. It pays homage but is not beholden to the original series, it brings the story into the modern era, and goes above and beyond in order to deepen the mythology. DuckTales also features a fantastic voice cast anchored by David Tennant, Ben Schwartz, Danny Pudi, Bobby Moynihan, Kate Micucci and Beck Bennett, who have quickly made the fan-favorite characters their own in just a handful of episodes. But one big debut has yet to arrive, that of Lin-Manuel Miranda‘s Fenton Crackshell-Cabrera, a.k.a. Gizmoduck!
The wait is almost over because the Friday, May 11th episode “Beware the B.U.D.D.Y System” will introduce his take on the character, and we can share an early look at that episode courtesy of EW. The episode arrives on Disney Channel and the DisneyNow app as part of the network’s “Duck Week” and will be the first of many such appearances for Miranda and Crackshell-Cabrera … and eventually Gizmoduck.
Check out the clip featuring Miranda’s DuckTales debut as Crackshell-Cabrera below (via EW):
EW also spoke with DuckTales reboot creators Francisco Angones and Matt Youngberg, about casting Miranda, writing the character with him in mind, and bringing a Latin-American superhero into this new generation of DuckTales. Here’s a sampling of what they had to say, so be sure to head to EW for the full interview:
FRANCISCO ANGONES: We knew that we wanted to update the Fenton Crackshell/Gizmoduck character. Because I’m Cuban we wanted to provide an opportunity to have [more representation]. Gizmoduck is the main superhero character in DuckTales, and there’s not a ton of Latin-American representation in superheroes generally. We thought it was a great opportunity. We looked at the original character as we do with all of our updates and thought, “Well okay, he talks a mile a minute, he’s got 100 plans at once, he’s impossibly earnest, and he wants to do what’s right.” So we said, “Oh, that’s Lin-Manuel Miranda, but we’re never going to get Lin-Manuel Miranda because that’s insane.” We wrote it as if it would be Lin and then hoped that whoever we did get to play it would be able to rise to the occasion, but as kind of a long shot we wrote this letter to Lin saying, This is the character, this is why he is important to us. We did not know at the time that Lin was a massive DuckTales fan, but I’ve been very familiar with his work. I had always wanted to try to go after him for something but once Hamilton hit, I was like, there’s no way, there’s absolutely no way. And then he comes in and he’s like singing the theme song to us as he comes in and he’s so excited, he’s so sweet. He’s singing the themes to the moon level from the DuckTales Nintendo game…
MATT YOUNGBERG: Something that is very important to us on DuckTales is diversity. You’re talking about a show that is primarily about these rich, white ducks. How do we make sure that we’re trying to be representative of the world as a whole, even though we’re dealing in this realm of ducks and animals and pigs and all of these different kinds of animals living in this world? How do we bring in representation? Part of that is who we cast. Casting was very important to us, as we cast to bring in representation of different cultures. Also as we go around the world and we meet other characters, regardless of what kind of animal it is, it was important to us to bring in actors who were representative of that culture. So if we’re going to Egypt, it was important that we find an Egyptian actor to portray the main villain or hero depending on what kind of character the new character’s going to be. Lin represented a really great opportunity for us to bring some more multi-culturalism into this weird show about these white ducks.
DuckTales airs on the Disney Channel and DisneyNow app Friday nights at 8pm, including tonight’s new episode, “The Spear of Selene.”