Hasbro’s had a decent Hollywood presence in recent years, bringing everything from “G.I. Joe” and “Transformers” to “Battleship” into theaters, but its expansion is far from over. According to The Hollywood Reporter, 20th Century Fox has tapped “X-Men” and “Fantastic Four” franchise mastermind Simon Kinberg to adapt the “Magic: The Gathering” collectible card game universe onto the big-screen. The intent is to turn “Magic” into a franchise of a similar scale to “Harry Potter” and “Lord of the Rings.” Aditya Sood and Josh Feldman as well as Hasbro’s Brian Goldner and Stephen Davis alongside Wizards of the Coast CEO Greg Leeds will executive produce.
Created by Richard Garfield and published in 1993 by Wizards of the Coast, “Magic” actually has a deep backstory and multiple worlds to explore. Known as “planes,” the different worlds of “Magic” are used as the settings for the card game’s many expansions. It makes Hollywood adaptation a figurative playground for writers, considering the diversity of planes — there’s Innistrad: a world of gothic horror; Mirrodin: a world of metal and technology; Theros: a plane inspired by ancient Greek and Roman history and mythology; and dozens more. Players take on the role of a “Planeswalker,” a powerful mage with the ability to jump across different worlds, and summon creatures and spells to annihilate their opponents. The expanded “Magic” universe has already been explored through prose novels as well as a “Magic: The Gathering” comic book series by IDW Publishing, though it’s unknown whether the film will draw from any of these sources.
Select “Magic” cards can fetch impressive prices on the secondary market — the most notable being the Black Lotus, which fetched over $27,000 at auction in 2013. “Magic” tournaments have a massive player base (12 million in 2011 according to The Verge and still growing) with tournaments held across the globe. The next “Magic: The Gathering” expansion, “Born of the Gods” is set for release February 7.