According to a teaser released by Netflix, Endgame directors Anthony and Joe Russo will soon be adapting the world’s greatest card game into a Netflix original series. Joined by the ranks of writers Henry Gilroy (Star Wars: The Clone Wars) and Jose Molina (The Tick), the duo will partner with Bardel Entertainment (Rick and Morty, The Dragon Prince) as an animation studio dedicated to bringing the twenty-six-year history of the game to life.
As a property for storytelling, Magic: The Gathering is rife with potential. Spanning history all the way back to the early days of nerd-dom and stretching into the present day, the product has featured characters and stories on dozens of planes and across thousands of years, with recent story revolving around the conflict between Nicol Bolas and the Gatewatch in the events of War of the Spark. Previous delves into the universe have included novels, comics, and crossover products with other franchises, such as Dungeons and Dragons, but this endeavor seems markedly different.
Until now, Magic story has been rich and complex, but always based around the card game and intended for its players. It seems that with a Netflix series, Wizards will break from that tradition, perhaps bolstered by the breakout success of their fifth edition D&D products, arguably the most successful explosion in a gaming sector in recent history. If Wizards can get non-magic-players to watch their new show, they could be looking at a repeat of the massive sales that resulted from the unexpected popularity of that edition.
While Wizards remains in controversy across the internet for their reputed employment practices, one thing remains certain – they create products that everyone seems to love. For many, Magic or D&D was a first foray into the world of gaming culture. Should things continue on their current course, that may be true for an even greater segment of the market. By hiring big guns in the animated entertainment industry, and a pair of rock-star directors, Wizards is making a bold statement: they’re here to stay in the public consciousness, and not as a niche product any longer.