Remember what I said about January being a month for big announcements in the Magic world? Well, this might just be the biggest of all this month, as one of the great urban legends of Magic is actually coming true: There is official confirmation that a film is in the works.
An earlier Hollywood Reporter article on the subject was initially difficult to believe for many - "20th Century Fox has acquired the rights" and "20th Century Fox actually intends to make the movie" are very different ideas - but ham-fisted references in the article and the spawning of the minor "Supreme Sorcerer" meme aside, the information therein seems to be correct. In fact, Wizards of the Coast itself backed this up with an announcement on its website:
Twentieth Century Fox and Hasbro, Inc. (NASDAQ: HAS) have joined forces to make a series of films based upon Hasbro’s Wizards of the Coast’s fantasy-adventure property, MAGIC: THE GATHERING. Simon Kinberg (X-Men: Days of Future Past), whose Genre Films banner is based on the Fox Lot, will serve as the franchise’s creative steward and produce in close partnership with Hasbro.
The announcement was made today by TCF production president Emma Watts, and Stephen Davis, president of Hasbro Studios.
MAGIC: THE GATHERING is the world’s best strategy game, creating endless worlds and compelling characters that resonate with more than 12 million players and fans worldwide. As Hasbro’s number one game brand, and one of the biggest fantasy properties in the world, the global powerhouse offers tremendous potential for the film franchise.
Hasbro President & CEO Brian Goldner, Stephen Davis and Wizards of the Coast President Greg Leeds will produce the franchise together with Genre Films execs Aditya Sood and Josh Feldman. Fox creative executives Kira Goldberg and Ryan Jones and Hasbro Studios’ executive Daniel Persitz were integral in making the deal and will be overseeing development of the films.
None of the personages listed here is actually from Magic R&D or Creative - understandably, as they are busy people and making Magic itself takes precedence over some nebulous film project - but no doubt the script will be penned by one of the Multiverse's regular scribes like Doug Beyer or Jennifer Clarke Wilkes.
As for the subject of the films? As much as we'd all like to see the Weatherlight Saga or the Thran Cycle committed to celluloid, the reality is we're more likely to see more recent storylines as the subject - or even perhaps a side story featuring the regular cast of planeswalkers.