This must be the Holy Trinity of geeky goodness: an anime based on a card game that's being produced by some of the biggest names in superhero movies. Fresh off the record-breaking success of Avengers: Endgame (opens in new tab), brothers Joe and Anthony Russo are taking a break from directing MCU movies to executive produce a Netflix series based on Magic: The Gathering, the godfather of card gaming.
As reported by The Hollywood Reporter (opens in new tab), Netflix is partnering with Wizards of the Coast and its parent company Hasbro to create an anime revolving around Magic's many Planeswalkers. If you're not familiar with Magic lore, Planeswalkers are the almighty wizards who can travel between the planes that have served as the fantasy settings for Magic's many expansions. They've become central figures in Magic canon, with fan-favorite characters like Jace Beleren, Chandra Nalaar, and Lilliana Vess becoming the faces of Magic's five colors of mana. With all kinds of Planeswalker backstory already available in books, comics, and the cards themselves (via art and flavor text), a Netflix show is the perfect way to introduce these characters to a larger audience.
Alongside the executive producing Russo brothers, Henry Gilroy (Star Wars Rebels) and Jose Molina (The Tick, Agent Carter) will be the show's lead writers and co-executive producers, with Wizards of the Coast overseeing the story. The animation is being done by Bardel Entertainment, which has worked on Rick and Morty, Teen Titans Go!, and Netflix's The Dragon Prince, among many others. Netflix hasn't yet specified how many episodes or how long each one will be.
The Hollywood Reporter's sources say that the Netflix anime will be the first step towards building a cinematic universe for Magic: The Gathering, which is something the Russo brothers clearly excel at. "Magic is a beloved global franchise with a massively engaged fan base that has only continued to grow over the last 25 years," says John Derderian, the head of anime programming at Netflix. "There's no one better suited to bring this story to audiences around the world than Joe and Anthony Russo, whose talent for genre storytelling is unmatched, as demonstrated by their central role in creating some of the biggest box office hits of all time."
Here's hoping we get to see Jace endlessly counterspell an enemy Planeswalker for an entire episode, before finally milling them to death. No release date has been announced for the anime adaptation of Magic: The Gathering, but we should hear more in the coming months.
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