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Marvel Shocker: ‘X-Men ’97’ Creator Beau DeMayo Fired Weeks Before Premiere (Exclusive)

Earlier this month, Beau DeMayo was in the midst of a particularly busy time at Marvel Studios. The writer-producer was preparing for the launch of X-Men ’97, the Disney+ series he created as a continuation of the beloved ‘90s Fox Kids show.

DeMayo, a Marvel regular who previously wrote on live-action series Moon Knight as well as early drafts of the company’s delayed-but-still-upcoming vampire thriller Blade, had completed writing duties on season two of X-Men ’97, was lining up press, and making plans to attend the show’s Hollywood premiere on March 13. He was even discussing loose ideas for a third season with members of his team.

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But early last week, Marvel and DeMayo suddenly parted ways. His company email was deactivated and cast and crew were informed he was no longer on the project. DeMayo’s Instagram account, once a source for X-Men updates, was deleted. No reason for the firing was given.

Marvel had no comment. DeMayo’s representatives did not return calls for comment and emails to the showrunner yielded no response.

It was surprising turn of events on the eve of the show’s March 20 debut. Splitting with writers is a normal part of business for Marvel or any studio. However, it is unusual for a top creative on a Marvel project to miss a premiere or cancel press plans last minute, even if they’ve been shuffled to the side. Most Marvel premieres feature multiple screenwriters walking the red carpet, some of whom had been rewritten by other writers also walking the carpet.

Marvel announced DeMayo’s hiring in November 2021. The move was met with some level of excitement, as the scribe brought his identity as a gay Black man to the project, and made it a point in talking to the press about how growing up as the adopted son to white parents with a Korean sister in the South made the X-Men characters — and their struggles for acceptance by society — feel personal to him.  

His silence on social media has been acute as he was a prolific poster, sharing X-Men tidbits as well as shirtless pictures of himself at the gym. For a time he also ran a non-explicit Only Fans account, all of which inspired the LGBTQ publication Out to declare him “the Sexy, Gay Marvel Writer & Showrunner to Know.”

But at times social media had proven a challenge while making the series. In May 2023, DeMayo announced he would be deleting his Twitter account, after he was attacked by users accusing X-Men ’97 of whitewashing the character Sunspot with the casting of Brazilian actor Gui Agustini in the role.

X-Men ’97 continues the story of X-Men: The Animated Series, which ran from 1992-97 and is credited with introducing a generation of children to the mutant characters and priming the pump for the X-Men movies of the early 2000s. A number of the voice actors from the original show are returning, with the nostalgia factor helping propel the first trailer to become the most watched promo for a Disney+ animated show.

DeMayo was among the kids who grew up watching the show. Said the showrunner in June 2022:Anyone who feels different, we all have a Magneto inside of us, and we all have a Charles Xavier. We all have a part of us that wants to burn it all down, and there’s a part of us who wants to find the compromise and build it up. And those comics really helped me understand my identity.”

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