In 'D3: The Mighty Ducks,' Team Iceland Nearly Got Redemption

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Before "D2: The Mighty Ducks" premiered in Reykjavik, producer Jordan Kerner tried to explain to the people of Iceland why their peaceful island nation had been tabbed as the villain in a major Disney production.

"I got up and I spoke," Kerner recalls, "and I said, 'You were chosen because we knew you could take it. You were chosen because you guys are a beautiful, strong, wonderful people. And you were chosen because we could put black uniforms on you with a bunch of Viking faces on those uniforms which would seem scary to our Ducks. And that you were extremely worthy opponents.' "

Kerner’s Reykjavik speech was nice and all, but he actually had a much bigger plan to celebrate the people of Iceland.

An Alternative Plot

In "D3," the last of the Mighty Ducks trilogy, the Ducks — fresh off their triumph over Iceland at the Junior Goodwill Games — go to high school. There’s a new enemy: The Varsity.

Team Iceland, the sports villain of a generation, is never seen again. (Well, one actor from Team Iceland does reappear as the goalie for the varsity at this new high school, which has sparked some interesting conspiracy theories on Reddit.)

But this was not the movie that producer Jordan Kerner wanted to make.

"I wanted to go back to the Junior Goodwill Games two years later," Kerner says.

In this story, the Ducks would, of course, meet Team Iceland again, but this time in the semifinals rather than the championship.

"And have the Ducks, for the first time, actually lose in the semifinals — lose to Iceland," Kerner explains. "But what they came to understand was that Iceland —  they were really good guys."

In this alternative story, Team Iceland actually stands up for a Ducks player after an even scarier opponent makes a thinly veiled anti-Semitic remark.

So after losing in the semifinals, the Ducks, Kerner explains, don’t just fly home with their tails between their legs.

"They end up staying and helping Iceland defeat yet another possibly darker, angrier team," Kerner says.

"The Germans?" I ask.

"No, not the Germans," Kerner says. "And I have to admit, yet again, we chose a place that was smaller. It was team Bulgaria."

(Kerner says the inspiration for the Bulgaria idea was seeing the strength of Bulgarian weightlifters and wrestlers at the Olympics.)

Iceland Vs. Bulgaria?

Alas, it wasn’t meant to be.

"We had a whole big plot, and then the studio said, 'No, no, no. We want to be more domestic,' " Kerner says.

So Team Iceland never got its redemption. At least not yet. I spoke to Jordan Kerner again last week. He confirmed that a teleplay for a Mighty Ducks TV series is in the works.

So we can hope that we haven’t yet heard the last of Team Iceland.

Our original story on Team Iceland aired on April 21, 2018. For much more on the history of "The Mighty Ducks" trilogy, check out Time's 2014 oral history.  

This segment aired on November 24, 2018.


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Martin Kessler Producer, Only A Game
Martin Kessler is a producer at Only A Game.



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