The Russo brothers, who have been fans and players of what is considered a nearly $1 billion franchise trading card game, will oversee the creation of an all-new storyline and expand on the stories of M:TG's famed Planeswalkers — the franchise's magic-wielding heroes and villains — as they contend with stakes larger than any one world can hold.
Octopie will oversee production on the series, with the Russos' AGBO president Todd Makurath, Eric Calderon and Dave Newberg producing. AGBO president of production Mike Larocca and Isaac Krauss are also exec producing. Yoriaki Mochizuki will serve as supervising director and co-exec producer. Animation on the series will be done by Bardel Entertainment (Teen Titans Go).
Sources say the big-picture goal for Netflix and Hasbro-owned Wizards of the Coast will be to expand the series into a larger franchise featuring multiple series — a la the streamer's former Marvel suite of since-canceled shows. The deal is the first time Magic: The Gathering will be adapted for the screen after Fox planned to adapt the strategy-based card game for the big screen in 2014. (That project, which had Game of Thrones grad Bryan Cogman attached to pen the script and X-Men's Simon Helberg on board to exec produce, never got off the ground.)
M:TG gives Netflix its own fantasy series as streamers and premium outlets alike jockey to launch the next global hit in the space after Game of Thrones wrapped its run on HBO last month. Amazon, for its part, has a live-action Lord of the Rings in the works in what sources say was a deal worth $250 million for rights alone. Meanwhile, HBO is prepping multiple Game of Thrones prequels.