‘Magic: The Gathering’ Movie to Be On Par With ‘The Lord of the Rings’?
We live in a world where every single video game, old TV show, cartoon and even toy line has become ripe for cinematic adaptation, and now card games are entering the fray. ‘Magic: The Gathering’ is one of the most popular card games ever made, so it’s not surprising that 20th Century Fox is now working to bring it to the big screen on a scale that’s already being compared to ‘Lord of the Rings.’
Although there is a very loose narrative that accompanies the game, ‘Magic: The Gathering’ is really a basic magic-dueling game, where players take on the roles of wizards with their decks representing spells, armies of creatures and sources of power. It’s a collectible card game (or CCG), meaning that players expand their decks by purchasing overpriced booster packs containing a random assortment of new cards. Anyone who has ever dabbled in the tabletop gaming hobby knows that the people with the most disposable income have the best decks because of this.
But we digress! According to The Hollywood Reporter, Fox has hired screenwriter Simon Kinberg (the man behind the studio’s shared X-Men/Fantastic Four universe) to bring the game to the screen, acting as a producer and overseer to what the studio hopes will be a major franchise akin to ‘Harry Potter’ and ‘The Lord of the Rings.’ Although we’ve yet to see the results of his work overhauling those superhero brands, Fox is obviously pleased with him and likes keeping him in their employ. In any case, Kinberg now has a new sandbox to play in and since ‘Magic: The Gathering’ doesn’t have a story set it in stone, he should be able to build a universe from ground up. Hopefully, it won’t be ‘Dungeons and Dragons’ all over again.
Details are still slim, but we can’t help but be annoyed that, of every tabletop game out there, ‘Magic: The Gathering’ is the one to get a big-screen adaptation. It’s a decision that was obviously made based entirely on name recognition, since there actually are card and board games out there with stronger themes and provide a far more solid foundation for a movie than this one (the dystopic sci-fi game ‘Netrunner,’ from the same designer as ‘Magic,’ comes to mind). Hopefully, they can make this work. With no release date set, Kinberg should have all the time in the world to find a story that matches the cool art on those cards.