Fresh off the high of directing Avengers: Endgame, the Russo Brothers are ready for another event-sized franchise. And it seems that they’ve found it. On Monday, Netflix and Wizards of the Coast announced that they would team up with Anthony Russo and Joe Russo to create an animated series based on the world of the hit trading card game franchise, Magic: the Gathering.
For years, Magic has been building a bounty of rich worlds through the creative direction showcased on card art, flavor text, in online short stories, and in novels. There have even been comic books over the years. The storyline, in a broad sense, centers around powerful magic-wielders known as Planeswalkers who hail from all over the vast Multiverse and have the ability to travel between worlds, also known as planes. These worlds range from the Egyptian-inspired Amonkhet to Ravnica, a plane-spanning city. When card game players travel to each of these locales in Magic expansions, they get a taste of how deeply they are fleshed out and how ripe they are for further exploration. And yet, despite several previously-announced attempts at films, we’ve never had the chance to see Magic‘s multiverse brought to life on screen– until now.
The Russo brothers will serve as executive producers of the series. They will team up with Octopie, where Mike Larocca and Isaac Krauss will also executive-produce and Todd Makurath, Eric Calderon, and Dave Newberg will be producers. Henry Gilroy (Star Wars Rebels, Star Wars: The Clone Wars) and Jose Molina (The Tick, Agent Carter) will be the lead writers of the series. Yoriaki Mochizuki is credited as supervising director and co-executive producer. Animation on the series will be done by Bardel Entertainment, which has worked on series ranging from Teen Titans Go! to Rick and Morty and the Netflix-distributed The Dragon Prince. Wizards of the Coast’s parent company Hasbro will be working on the show through their animation studio, Allspark.
When asked about the project, the Russo Brothers commented, “We have been huge fans and players of Magic: The Gathering for as long as it has been around, so being able to help bring these stories to life through animation is a true passion project for us.” Isaac Krauss, who is also the CEO of Octopie, commented on the team’s creative hopes for the series, stating that ““Our goal is to not only tell a compelling story leveraging Magic: The Gathering’s incredible body of work, but to also push the medium and perception of storytelling through animation. This series will cross the genres of suspenseful thriller, horror, and drama with deeply developed characters the likes of which are not often seen in animation.”
Creative talent on Netflix’s Magic: the Gathering animated series has not been announced at this time. However, Netflix and Wizards teased that the series would feature talent from acclaimed animated properties including Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, Batman: The Animated Series, Star Wars: The Clone Wars, Firefly, Agent Carter, Ultimate Spider-Man, and The Lego Movies.
While Magic fans might understandably be a little worried about the possibility of this animated series seeing release, given previous failed attempts to bring Magic to the screen, Netflix recently just brought Gerard Way’s and Gabriel Ba’s The Umbrella Academy comic to life on their platform. That project, for a long time, was also stuck in development hell. So don’t fret, Magic players– Netflix is here to deliver us.