chandra-netflix-series
4, Jun, 21

Magic: The Gathering Netflix Series Release Date and Everything We Know

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When does the new Magic: The Gathering Netflix series release? In June 2019, Avengers: Endgame directors Anthony and Joe Russo revealed that they were working on an adaptation of Magic: The Gathering (MTG) for Netflix. The team will be pairing up with Wizards of the Coast and Hasbro to create an animated series delving deeper into the lore of the game.

For those unfamiliar with MTG, it’s a trading card game designed by Richard Garfield and was originally designed to be a playable card game version of Dungeons and Dragons. Although there have been crossovers with D&D, Magic: The Gathering has its own universe and worlds unique to the game.

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Magic Arena gameplay

Magic: The Gathering has been around for over 25 years and has a rich background of characters, villains, and environments that can be explored. It is currently owned by Hasbro and its subsidiary, Wizards of the Coast.

Here’s what Chris Cocks, president of Wizards of the Coast, had to say about the series:

“More fans are enjoying Magic now than at any time in its 25-year history thanks to the enduring popularity of the tabletop game and our latest release War of the Spark. We’re thrilled to collaborate with Joe and Anthony Russo to bring Magic: The Gathering’s rich and diverse cast of characters and worlds to Netflix in a way that will delight our many fans and those new to the franchise.”

Magic: The Gathering Netflix Series Plot & Story

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The official announcement by Netflix for the series revealed artwork of Chandra, a Planeswalker and one of the main characters in Magic: The Gathering. For this reason, we can assume that the show will at least partly be based around her character as one of the Gatewatch planeswalkers.

According to Octopie CEO Isaac Kraus, the series will have a character-driven story with dark fantasy themes targeted more toward adults.

Nic Kelman, head of story and entertainment of the Netflix series had this to say:

“So what we plan to do is, the story and the characters are going to be true to the spirit of the story and the characters that are preexisting”. Kelman told TheWrap, “We’re going to be true to that and the world and also true to the core values of those worlds and characters. But we’re definitely going to try to carve out our own continuity space in a very similar way to other franchises that have done that with adventures in a new medium from preexisting stories.”

For those wondering if the story will follow the official canon of the Magic: The Gathering card game, Kelman went on to say, “If somebody’s parents have died and that’s a crucial part of who their character is, that’s gonna be true no matter what medium that story takes place in, but the exact details of whether they were six or eight when that happened may shift.”

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A Map of Dominaria from Magic: The Gathering lore

Mark Rosewater, head of Design at MTG also stated that Earth is not part of the MTG Multiverse and that, “We don’t want a movie or TV show with people from Earth traveling to Magic’s worlds.”

For this reason, it is very unlikely, if not off-limits, for any events to take place on Earth.

Jeremy Jarvis, franchise team director for MTG, spoke in detail with Polygon in 2019 and went into the furthest detail of any interview yet on the new MTG series.

“One, I want to feel that they respect the IP… Two, I want to feel like I, as a creative, am being heard, that at least the better of my ideas are getting through, and they’re not just being pooh-poohed… This is not a ‘kick it over the fence’ licensing deal, We have skin in this game, and the people that have been working to make the characters, make the worlds and bring them to life with the existing mediums that people know, are involved and are co-drivers of bringing it to life in this new expression.”

When asked about what the storyline will be about, Jarvis said, “One of the most important things we did is whenever we would meet with a new person we would lead with, ‘Here’s who we are today, [Magic] is very character-centric, and we talked about some of the places that we believe would be best brought to life by animation, about the characters we believe that would be best served by animation. Because there is the potential that when someone says, ‘Yeah, I’m an enormous Magic fan,’ that they’re kind of frozen in 1998 or 1993 or whenever they entered the game, which is not where we are now and certainly not where we’re moving towards.”

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Ugin, the Spirit Dragon

It seems that Jarvis is suggesting the series will focus on more contemporary characters and plots. We’re not going to see fan service or stories based around Urza, Ichorid, Karona, and characters of the past. It’s most likely we will see the Gatewatch, Ugin, Nicol Bolas, and possibly a new villain or two.

Netflix isn’t the only game in town when it comes to Magic: The Gathering Adaptations. In 2014, Fox had hired Bryan Cogman from Game of Thrones to write the script for a film adaptation of Magic: The Gathering, but there has been no update on that project. It’s possible that it has been shelved in favor of this Netflix adaptation.

No other plot details or clues have yet to leak.

Magic: The Gathering Netflix Series Cast, Directors, and Producers

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The Russo Brothers speaking to Rotten Tomatoes in an Avengers: Endgame interview

So far we can confirm that Joe and Anthony Russo will be executively producing the MTG Netflix series. No information has been revealed in regards to voice actors.

The Russos had this to say about the show, “We have been huge fans and players of Magic: The Gathering for as long as it has been around, so being able to help bring these stories to life through animation is a true passion project for us.” 

It’s fantastic to hear that the Russo brothers are longtime players of MTG itself. As a fellow player, I can’t imagine a more exciting executive team than the directors of Avengers: Endgame to be making a Magic: The Gathering animated series.

Magic: The Gathering Netflix Series Animation Studio

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Bardel Entertainment, the acclaimed Canadian studio in charge of Rick and Morty, The Dragon Prince, and Teen Titans Go!, will be taking care of the MTG Netflix series animation duties. Octopie Network will be heading the production of the series with Todd Makurath, Eric Calderon, and Dave Newberg. Mike Larcoccca and Isaac Krauss will also serve as executive producers.

Here’s what Krauss had to say about the MTG Netflix series:

“Working with Joe and Anthony, Wizards of the Coast, and Netflix on such a universally cherished brand is a real highlight for our studio. Our goal is to not only tell a compelling story leveraging Magic: The Gathering’s incredible body of work, but to also push the medium and perception of storytelling through animation. This series will cross the genres of suspenseful thriller, horror, and drama with deeply developed characters the likes of which are not often seen in animation.”

Magic: The Gathering Netflix Series Trailer

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No trailer or teaser trailer has yet to be released and no schedule has been made from when one will drop.

Magic: The Gathering Netflix Series Release Date

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Summer 2021 UPDATE – As of June 2021, no new updates have been provided by Hasbro, Netflix, or the Russo Brothers as to the status of the series since the February investor call.

Hasbro revealed in an investor call on February 25, 2021 that the series will be released sometime in 2022.

The above-pictured placeholder image was previously revealed by Netflix identifying a 2021 launch date. Netflix has since removed the placeholder. It is possible that the series has been delayed due to Covid.

In April of 2020, Joe Russo gave an update saying they were still working on the script for the series. You can watch it here:

Are you excited about the new Magic: The Gathering series from Netflix? Leave us a comment below!

Related: The 5 Best Games Like MTG Arena

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