Despite all the hype over Netflix’s upcoming adaptation of The Witcher, they seem to have missed out one of the important parts. The updates have all been about them filming at lovely old castles, but mention nothing about the franchise’s incredibly popular in-universe card game Gwent.
Now it seems Netflix are looking to fill that gap, with an animated adaptation of trading card game Magic: The Gathering. The game has previously become an esport, a comic book, and a best-selling novel, but this will be its first outing for the screen. This is the latest entry in Netflix’s push for more animated content, joining the adult cartoons Bojack Horseman, Big Mouth, and Disenchantment, as well as the anime series Aggretsuko, Ultraman, and Devilman Crybaby.
Attached to direct are no less than Joe and Anthony Russo, they of a number of MCU titles such as Captain America: Civil War, Avengers: Infinity Wars, and Avengers: Endgame. The Russos, themselves fans of Magic: The Gathering, commented “being able to help bring these stories to life through animation is a true passion project for us”.
The show is to be made by Hasbro’s in-house animation studio Allspark Animation. This is perhaps not a name you know, but they are responsible for many film and television tie-ins for Hasbro products, most notably My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic. That series is obviously a very different kind of fantasy to the swords-and-sorcery of Magic: The Gathering, but is incredibly successful and has been going for a good nine years. What’s probably more promising for the show’s assumed audience is that the actual animation will be done by Bardel Entertainment, the people responsible for Rick and Morty.
The famous saying is that Wizards of the Coast could include a crisp $100 bill with every pack of Magic cards, and the fans would complain it was folded wrong. Given that I can only wish the Russos the best of luck.