Posted on Monday, January 13th, 2014 by Germain Lussier
The popular role-playing card game Magic: The Gathering has been on Hollywood’s wish list for years. Universal owned the rights for a while, along with a few other Hasbro properties, but ultimately let them go. Now 20th Century Fox has played the cash card to acquire the rights to the fantasy franchise. The inhumanly busy Simon Kinberg is attached to produce and oversee the films.
The Hollywood Reporter broke the news of the deal. Fox is hoping the property could develop into a franchise like similar fantasy series Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings. It certainly has that potential, as the card game is filled with creatures, witches, wizards, spells, powers and all the fun stuff that makes the genre so popular. On the downside, while Magic is still a lively system that enjoys regular updates, the franchise is well past its peak popularity, which was in the late ’90s and early 2000s.
Kinberg, who is also working on Star Wars, X-Men and Fantastic Four, will be tasked with taking this massive world and leading it in a filmable direction. It’s a task no one at Universal was able to do in the years the property was at that studio, so it’ll obviously be a challenge. While the card game, at its roots, isn’t a narrative experience, over the years a set of characters and concepts have been written that are now familiar to dedicated players. Whether they’ll be part of the film is unknown at this point, but it seems likely that some notable Planeswalkers will show up on screen.
Do you think Magic: The Gathering could make a good film? Is Kinberg the man to do it? Or are you worried he’s spreading himself too thin with so many properties?