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Netflix's Magic: The Gathering - What We Know So Far

After over 25 years of slapping down sick illustrated cards, the wildly popular Magic: The Gathering is joining its fellow trading card games in getting its very own animated series.

It's the most ambitious crossover event since Joe and Anthony Russo's last ambitious crossover event — Avengers: Infinity War and Endgame — though the "crossover" here is remarkably different. Magic: The Gathering's fantasy story centers on gifted mages called Planeswalkers that cross between different worlds in MTG's Multiverse. So while the Russo brothers might not be diving into the Marvel Cinematic Universe's multiverse, they're working on their own as executive producers of the upcoming Magic: The Gathering animated series.

The series is shaping up to be an epic gathering of its own, with Netflix, Wizards of the Coast, and Hasbro all working together to bring the beloved game to the small screen. The Russo brothers have been fans of Magic: The Gathering for a long time, calling the series a "true passion project" in a statement. Altogether, it makes for a very promising series, so here's everything we know about it so far.

When will Magic: The Gathering premiere?

There is no release date confirmed for the Magic: The Gathering series just yet. Netflix officially announced it in June 2019 and, as of last April, it was in the script phase (via Collider). According to their press release, the lead writers are Henry Gilroy (Star Wars Rebels, Star Wars: The Clone Wars) and Jose Molina (Firefly, Agent Carter).

There's been no news of it since, but animated shows often take considerably longer to produce than live-action, so it could be awhile before fans get to see what planeswalking actually looks like. However, MTG's franchise team director Jeremy Jarvis hinted to Polygon that the animation style of the show may resemble Netflix's The Dragon Prince, as both are animated by Bardel Entertainment. Presumably, they've finished writing by now and are in development, maybe shooting for a 2022 release date. Still, even as fans wait for the animated series, new cards are still being released.

Who will be in Magic: The Gathering?

Netflix has yet to confirm any cast members for the animated series, but they'll likely hire professional voice actors, as opposed to familiar faces (big name actors are more inclined to do animated films, not series). Still, for fans of other animated projects, there could be some recognizable voices in the cast.

It'll be important for Magic: The Gathering's producers to get the casting right, as they've emphasized the story's focus on its characters. Wizards of the Coast President Chris Cocks said in a statement, "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."

Don't count on all the characters being from the '90s, though. Jarvis told Polygon that they're looking across the MTG multiverse for which characters to include, but emphasized the franchise's present identity. "[Magic] is very character centric," he said, "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."

What will be the plot of Magic: The Gathering?

Magic: The Gathering has a long story sweeping across multiple planes within its Multiverse, made up of the short but sweet flavor text on cards, many novels, and even episodic chapters posted on the Magic: The Gathering website. The animated series will take its own spin on the existing story and create its own continuity, but keep the important parts of characters' backstories (via The Wrap). According to Netflix's press release, it will focus on the Planeswalkers "as they contend with stakes larger than any one world can hold."

Isaac Krauss, CEO of animation studio Octopie, said in a statement, "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."

It's fair to say this won't be a simple cartoon aimed at kids, but just what the story entails remains a mystery.