Back in June 2019, the Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame directors Joe and Anthony Russo announced that they will be executive-producing a new animated adaptation based on the fantasy-themed mythology of Wizards of the Coast's popular card game, Magic: The Gathering for Netflix. According to the Russos, adapting Magic: The Gathering is a "true passion project" because they are life-long fans of the card game.
A promotional artwork for the upcoming project was released along with the announcement, and it features one of the Gatewatch's planeswalkers, Chandra. This is actually the art for the card Exquisite Firecraft.
Table of Contents
- What is the production status of Netflix's MTG animated series?
- When will the MTG animated series be released on Netflix?
- What Will The Magic: The Gathering Netflix Series Be About?
- Who are the producers & writers of the MTG Netflix series?
- Development of the MTG Netflix Series
- Cast & Voice Actors: Who will play the roles of planeswalkers?
- Teasers, Trailers For The Magic: The Gathering Netflix Series
- Are there any other updates for Netflix's MTG animated series?
What is the production status of Netflix's MTG animated series?
Last fall, the production status for the Netflix's upcoming Magic: The Gathering animated series is "filming", according to IMDB.
Netflix already revealed some visual concepts and 3-D character models.
When will the MTG animated series be released on Netflix?
On August 24, 2021, Wizards of the Coast and Netflix announced that the Magic: The Gathering animated series will be released in late 2022, but no exact release date has been revealed yet.
Unfortunately, the upcoming MTG animated series was not mentioned in the lineup for Netflix's Tudum 2022 virtual event, so don't expect any updates soon.
What Will The Magic: The Gathering Netflix Series Be About?
Octopie CEO Isaac Krauss said that the tone of the MTG show's story is dark, and that the writers have developed a character-based story for the series. There are currently no other specifics regarding the characters and settings, but based on the placeholder shown above, it will be centered around the magic-wielding Planeswalkers, who are among the most powerful heroes and villains of the lore's multiverse.
According to Nic Kelman, Wizards of the Coast's head of story and entertainment and executive producer on the Netflix series, the Netflix series will be true to the spirit of Magic's story.
"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."
Kelman went on to say that although the series will stay true to the card game's story, it will carve out its own continuity: "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."
Since members of the Gatewatch like Chandra, Jace, Gideon, and Liliana are iconic to the game's story, the show will most likely feature them.
As for the setting? Magic head designer Mark Rosewater repeatedly stated that Wizards of the Coast don't want a movie or TV show with people from Earth traveling to Magic's worlds, so don't expect the show feature a real world setting.
Rosewater also confirmed that the MTG Netflix show will respect the characters and worlds, but it will have its own continuity.
Jeremy Jarvis, franchise team director for Magic: The Gathering, told Polygon that the show will be a "character-driven franchise space", explaining that "This is not going to be Yu-Gi-Oh! or Pokemon where you're literalizing gameplay aspects. We developed this library of wonderful characters and wonderful places and impactful events, and we're going to be bringing that to life in a new way."
On August 24, 2021, Wizards of the Coast revealed that the Magic: The Gathering animated adaptation will expand on the events about how Gideon and Jace bond. Visual previews revealing the Golgari guild's area in Ravnica were also revealed during the announcement.
Who are the producers & writers of the MTG Netflix series?
On Aug. 20, Deadline reported that the Russo Brothers have left the project early in the process, with head writers Henry Gilroy and Jose Molina, over different visions on how to adapt the IP.
Netflix has tapped Jeff Cline (Transformers: Prime) to lead the new creative team with Co-Executive Producer and Story Editor Steve Melching (Star Wars: Clone Wars), Supervising Director Audu Paden, Art Ddirector Izzy Medrano and Writers Nicole Dubuc, Russell Sommer & Dan Frey.
The Russos were involved with the transition, and met with Jeff Cline.
Animation production company Octopie will be overseeing the production of the Magic: The Gathering Netflix series. The studio's collaboration with Netflix will be their biggest project to date. The company is best known for creating animated shorts on YouTube and Robert Rodriguez's Explosion Jones.
The team will be working alongside Wizards of the Coast's Nic Kelman and the game's creators.
The UK-based company Axis Studio provided its VFX skills for the upcoming MTG Netflix series, according to the company's website. Axis Studio also produced a Love, Death & Robots Season 3 episode titled Mason's Rats.
Development of the MTG Netflix Series
In April 2020, Joe Russo said that the Magic Netflix series was still in script phase, but didn't reveal any details about the story or other aspects of the show's development.
Watch Russo's interview with Collider in the YouTube video below:
Cast & Voice Actors: Who will play the roles of planeswalkers?
On Aug. 24, Wizards and Netflix announced that Superman actor Brandon Routh is the voice actor of Gideon, one of Magic's iconic planeswalkers.
Teasers, Trailers For The Magic: The Gathering Netflix Series
No official teasers or trailers have been released yet, but we will update this page once it's up.
For now, you can watch the cinematic trailer for MTG's latest expansion, Streets of New Capenna:
Are there any other updates for Netflix's MTG animated series?
Sadly, Netflix's Geeked Week 2022 virtual event (June 6 to 10) didn't share any updates about the upcoming Magic: The Gathering animated series. The MTG show's absence in the event is worrying for a show that's set to launch in the next six months.
What makes this more concerning is that we've seen MTG at Geeked Week before, but it was used to plug Netflix's own series instead of standing on its merits. During Geeked Week 2021, Wizards of the Coast and Netflix revealed that Stranger Things would be crossing over into MTG with its since-released limited-edition Secret Lair product.
We will update this article with more information as more details are announced, so bookmark this page to get the latest information here.