A movie based on Magic: The Gathering? I would tap that ass….You know… from unhinged? The ass cycle? They were donkeys?… I promise never to make a joke that bad again.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, 20th Century Fox has recently closed a deal to acquire the screen rights to Magic: The Gathering. They are looking to develop the property to be a massive movie franchise on the scale of Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings. So expect a lot of walking and long drawn out fight scenes.
The studio has attached Simon Kinberg to the project, a writer-producer who is best known for his work on the Marvel X-Men and Fantastic Four franchises. Kinberg will be producing the adaptation and will be working together with Hasbro Executives Brian Goldner and Stephen Davis as well as Wizards of the Coast president Greg Leeds to make sure that the Magic: The Gathering flavor is on point. Aditya Sood and Josh Feldman of Genre Films will also be acting as executive producers on the film. Though many Marvel fans may flinch at Kinberg’s name, we say give him a shot. He can’t possibly screw up the color pie any worse than Mark Rosewater already has.
If you didn’t get the previous joke, then you may be new to the Magic: The Gathering universe, so let me explain. Magic is a collectible card game where you and your opponent play as powerful wizards having epic universe shattering duels. You are called “planeswalkers” who are unique individuals that have the ability to cross dimensional boundaries into the many different realities in the Magic multiverse. Basically, it’s quick explanation for why the same sorcerer can summon both centaurs and robots with the same deck.
While this started as a quick handwavey explanation for in-game flavor, it quickly blew-up into an epic backstory. There are now many diverse planes that have been featured in MTG expansions multiple times like the steel plains of Mirrodin, the Japanese themed world of Kamigawa, the dark and gothic horror world of Innistrad, the huge global city known as Ravnica, and the strange fantasy world of Lorwyn. Key characters like Karn the Silver Golem, Urza, his creator, Volrath the Fallen, and more have had multiple incarnations in expansion after expansion. Heck, there are even now Planeswalker cards that are specifically meant to come back over and over again.
The expanded flavor of Magic got so huge that a series of novels was written detailing the stores of the many MTG planes. As of today, there are more of sixty of these novels written as well as compilations, webcomics, graphic novels and art books. It is likely that Fox will base their movie off of these expanded works.
The big question is, what story will be told? Will it take place on the main plane, Dominaria? Will we see the history of the Thran and their decimation by Yawgmoth? Will we see the Brother’s War where Urza and Mishra, two great artificers, devastated the land with their war robots? Will the movie take place toward the middle of Magic’s timeline where Dominaria is invaded by the Phyrexians, or even further in the future in the post-apocalyptic world of Time Spiral, where time itself begins to unravel and the very nature of the Planeswalkers change? Heck, if Fox is looking to make this as epic as Harry Potter, I wouldn’t put it past them to start from the beginning and hit every expansion. There’s certainly more than 9 movie’s worth of content here.
Senior Contributing Writer