When Netflix announced last month that the Avengers: Endgame directors Joe and Anthony Russo are producing a new animated series based on the lore of Wizards of the Coast's popular trading card game Magic: The Gathering, fans became excited to see the story of MTG's Planeswalkers come to life but will the show stay true to the story or will it have more freedom to change what they're familiar with?
According to Nic Kelman, head of story and entertainment for Wizards of the Coast and executive producer on the Netflix series, the show will be true to the spirit of MTG's story. During an interview with TheWrap at San Diego Comic-Con 2019, Kelman talked about how the Netflix animated series is approaching the game'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 gave an example to TheWrap, saying, “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.”
Kelman didn't reveal any story details about the show but he said that the Russos will have more to share in a "few months."
The Magic: The Gathering Netflix series is being produced by the animation network and studio Octopie with writers Henry Gilroy (Star Wars: The Clone Wars) and Jose Molina (The Tick) with Joe and Anthony Russo serving as executive producers. Last week, CEO of Octopie and executive producer Isaac Krauss shared some details about how they're approaching the show.
Kelman also told TheWrap how they're aiming the show to draw viewers who not yet Magic: The Gathering fans. “I mean, look, that’s the problem that every franchise faces that is fantasy or science fiction or based on a comic,” Kelman said. “And our characters, when you boil it down, are superheroes with magic. And I think that’s something that anybody can get into and relate to. And certainly we have a love of fantastic characters with a lot of great backstories and drama between them as characters, and amazing worlds to visit.”
“So I think while some of the deep lore from the ’90s might be inaccessible to a lot of people, the core of what makes Magic characters is the same as what makes any characters popular,” Kelman explained. “So I think it’s just a question of focusing on the things that really make these characters appealing to everybody, including our fans. And I don’t see it as being anymore of an issue for Magic than any other similar franchise.”
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